The Lure of Beauty a.k.a. When to Press Pause
This is a pretty important post, so listen up. There’s no doubt in my mind that most of us just have way too much stuff. And the thought of cleaning out, paring down, sorting through, and then disposing of it is daunting to say the least. I know this because I was one of those people. I still am, to a degree, but I wrestle with it on a daily basis and I’m conscious of it in a way that feels like the healthy beginning of change, and I’ve got some great purges to prove it.
I also like to think that I live somewhere in that slice of happiness between having what I need and hanging on to what makes me smile. It’s the razor’s edge for a designer. There’s a constant battle between the me that can’t help but listen to the onslaught of messaging thrown my way every day to buy more, consume more, want more, and the one that KNOWS that this is just plain wrong.
My business is built on the premise that there are others like me. People who are craving something more simple and balanced and yet, still want and appreciate beauty. Because to deny ourselves beauty is a cosmic sin. I have often thought that someone should publish a scholarly paper on why human beings need beauty. Why is it so instinctual to draw, paint, sing, bedazzle? Why isn’t every building just four walls, a floor and a ceiling? I think it’s because our need for color and ornament and music is very primal, and I honestly believe that it’s part of our ancestral DNA. Let’s face it, our structures, our clothing, our furniture, even our food would work just fine without needing to be beautiful. And yet.
All I can say is that to fight it would be pointless, and pretty bloody boring. So the key is that when we surrender to the lure of beauty – when we can’t help but walk in and buy that incredibly amazing thing we just saw – that we remain conscious, that we pause. I sometimes take this a step further and purposely wait. And if the “thing” continues to haunt me, I know that there’s probably a good reason and that I most likely won’t be sorry. It’s a more responsible approach and has worked extremely well for me. I encourage you to give it a try, and be sure to keep your eyes open and your finger on that pause button.