Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Be You

In her first book on happiness, Gretchen Rubin has a whole chapter promoting the idea that we lose out on happiness because we try to be who we think we ought to be rather than who we are. That's why I kept my copy of Ulysses on my bookshelf years after graduate school...because I ought to be the person who rereads James Joyce's incredible novel--the greatest novel ever written--every year.

But in truth, I'm a person who rereads Pride and Prejudice and The Lord of the Rings every year. I'm deep, but in an "Eliza Bennett meets pointy-eared elvish lords who ride horses named Asfaloth" kind of way, not a "sad man avoids home for the day because his wife is having an affair" way.

When we moved, I carted Ulysses to Salvation Army because Gretchen Rubin told me I would be happier if I would just Be Susan. And since my bookshelves are no longer double-stacked and look so much tidier, I actually am happier.

Thank you, Gretchen.

What, you might be pondering, does this have to do with stamping? While I've seriously purged my stamp hoard in the past three years, I've clung tenaciously to stamps that I think I ought to love, including an alarming number of office-supply-themed stamps. Some work for me, but most don't. I try to use them and am rarely truly happy with the results.

I decided to pull out my old SU sets Stamp of Authenticity and Office Accoutrements one last time, expecting to once again disappoint myself and finally let go of them (except for the library card stamp...which I want to be buried with, for obvious reasons). I made this.

Dang it. I like it. It looks like I made it. But I think I'll still have the strength to say goodbye to the stamps anyway.

What stamps are you holding on to because you feel like you ought to love them? Do you, really? What's the worst thing that will happen if you let them go? How can you be happier stamping by being you?

stamps: SU Stamp of Authenticity, Office Accoutrements; Papertrey Papertray
ink: VersaColor
paper: Papertrey
accessories: file label punch, dimensional


  1. Very interesting, Susan. I have to think about this. Thanks for making me stop and ponder the big picture.

  2. On the positive side; I searched for and bought a stamp off Ebay expressly for making Christmas cards. It was adorable...the snowman, bunny and sheep looking up at the Christmas star on snowy night. "Do You See What I See"? It's one of my favorite songs of the season. However: I tried for about a month to make it work for me. I didn't like any of the ways I tried to color it...it was a lot of WORK besides...so I promptly resold it on Ebay ( for less than I paid for it ) and moved on. It just "wasn't me" to do all that coloring.

    Now...I still have SU sets that I think I MIGHT use someday to make a really cute scrapbook page. My son is 11 and I've barely scratched the surface of his first 3 or 4 years and there are some ADORABLE pictures in box just waiting to be put into a cute layout with these stamps that I don't really want to use for anything else...but darn, they would look cute if I ever make that scrapbook page in my head a reality. Last year, I actually made one layout...turned into four pages and the stamps look really cute. And this year I made another. So now I have two sets I could get rid of...but what if I "need" them again???That is what keeps me hanging on to them.

  3. My mantra to my boys was and is "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should". Sadly, I don't always heed this advice when buying stamps!! You have given me something to think about Susan, thank you :)

  4. Great post.
    I've just got rid of a load of stamps nd to be honest could do with shedding a few more!

  5. Love coming here for more than one reason : 0 Thanks for being you!

  6. Ya just got to purge Susan! Every January I spend the month purging my studio of stamps, supplies and paper that I know I am just not going to use or use enough. It makes me feel so free and it justifies my next spending spree! :)

  7. Definitely "food for thought" - thank you, SUSAN :)

    Wonderful card, love the little touches of colour!

  8. I hear you! I think this is wisdom that can only come with age (let me think that, it's one of the things that makes me feel better about getting older! lol!)

  9. Susan....you must be reading my mind!! There's been a faint little whisper in the back of my mind telling me to JUST DO IT ...just purge the stamps and the paper. I have so, so many stamps that I loved for one reason or another, yet can't make them work once I sit down to actually stamp with them. But what to do with them?!?

    Thanx for sharing with us! I just love your blog!!

  10. Thanks for this thought provoking post. I like the idea of giving the stamps a last chance to make their case. A few too-quick purges in other areas - that I now really regret - have been holding me back from making some necessary decisions about my stash. ;-)

  11. Great post. I've been thinking along these lines too. Last week I came to the conclusion that there are some Challenge blogs I need to skip. If I don't like the project when I am done, why post it? That does not make me happy.

    After 8 years, I still have not purged one thing (well, I gave a few dollar bin stamps to my 5 year old niece), but I have been on a mission to pull out at least one unused item every time I do a challenge, and it's been going well so far. The end goal is that I'll be ready to do a purge soon, and will feel less guilty about parting with certain things if I've at least used them once or twice.

    Thanks for sharing your insight!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!