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Nov 1, 2023

The Cost of Holding On


Lilli Weisz, organizer extraordinaire, worked with me last month to carve out a larger and more streamlined area for my textile work. She started our session examining the contents of each desk drawer and inquiring about every item within.

She pointed to a deep burgundy box that held a calligraphy kit I’d bought in the 90’s. Four years ago I joyfully took it out of a bottom drawer to address invitations for the wedding of my daughter and son-in-law.

I haven’t touched it since. 


I balked at letting go of the Phantom Liner as it held cherished memories and the possibility of more to come, not to mention whatever financial outlay I’d made at the time. For me, letting go of anything that cost more than $30 feels like a financial outlay.

“The price of holding onto this is the cost of expanding your textile practice,” Lilli explained.

Oof. The truth hurt.  

But I’m a quick study.

Within minutes of her declaration, I became ruthless. HTML cords, a CD player, outdated-but-meticulously-assembled press kits, writing implements and miscellany bit the dust, regardless of how many dollars they’d cost or how they were still ‘like new.’ Multiple ‘missed opportunities’ surfaced during my purge. I even discovered four partially filled-in loyalty cards from my local nail salon! 


I assembled the higher ticket items – tech stuff, books, assorted containers – to gift to neighbors via Buy Nothing. The rest I let go of in order to open up drawer space and possibilities.

“You won’t even miss them tomorrow,” Lilli said, which has already proved true.

Not coincidentally, a few weeks prior to my hiring an organizer, I’d reported to my Visions Team that my heart wasn’t motivated to market fall coaching groups. Much as I love those clients, selecting dates on the calendar and creating the email materials and website updates were energetically out of sync.

“I’d like to spend all my time on art and take a break from running programs. May I?”

Of course, I didn’t need their permission, but was nervous about taking the leap without mentioning it to someone. It would feel like the ultimate luxury to simply create. To have no demands on my time other than art.

They not only agreed but encouraged me to savor the process. I described a large piece I had in mind to design and execute. “Allow yourself the time, not only to prepare and sew it, but also to market and promote it through your social media.”

This was a new level of freedom and happiness for me. Marketing my creations delights me. There’s the measure.

That evening, after our meeting, I heard back from a woman who had expressed interest in purchasing a recently completed wall hanging. She was ready to move forward. Earlier that day, an interior designer, to whom I’d sent a proposal in June, also committed to our collaborative project, but could I double the number of pieces?

My favorite quote is from Goethe: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

I now have a sizable workspace with all my wools, threads, beads, buttons and tools organized and nearby.

All I want to do is sew.

Here are a few of the two dozen designs I’ve created for the project commissioned by the interior designer. I’ll be able to show you their end usage in a few months. 

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