Decluttering with Astrid (23)

Another pastime

I’ve taken up a new sport. It’s a little difficult to explain, but it’s called Ballet Body, and is a sort of combination of ballet, Pilates and yoga. And the added bonus is the music that’s played during class: mostly classical.

Whenever I start on something new, Irene often jokes: “Well? Do you need to buy something for it?” And yes, this time is no different; I do actually have to buy some stuff. I got myself a pair of black ballet shoes, just like those of our teacher, a Swedish beauty who previously danced with ballet companies. She also has a beautiful ballet top, which I see myself in too by the way…

Anyway, so basically, my pitfall with a new sport/hobby is the shopping aspect attached to it. If you were ever to go through my house, you would come across so many reminders—or should that be, evidence—of my good intentions, especially of the impulsive kind.

You can’t say that I’m not open to experiencing new things in life, and I embrace every hobby with great enthusiasm. Which is why there’s a brand new sewing machine in the attic: I started following a sewing course with all earnest, but after two skirts and a bag, I dropped out. From the technology of a sewing machine to the craft of crocheting. Next to the machine you’ll find a bag full of wool, a pile of crochet books and three metallic colored crochet hooks. For I found myself preferring to pick up a book to read in the evening than my crochet pattern. And so on to running. Even before I could manage a kilometer without passing out from respiratory distress, I had bought the full kit: running jacket; shoes; an iPhone armband; breathable and moisture-wicking top; and waterproof cap. Not at all like Irene, who only allows herself to buy something after every milestone in running, like a kind of reward. A concept that is completely and utterly alien to me.

Next stop: drawing. Now there’s a hobby you can go completely to town with. In fact, I have as I have an entire cupboard shelf dedicated to this. But that’s actually okay, as it’s the only pastime I pretty much stick with. Other “passions” have led to the purchase of a cycle-through-the-dunes bike (of the hip and expensive variety, of course), and all the added paraphernalia that goes with it, such as bike lock, a cycle-through-the-dunes jacket, and exactly the right kind of thermos for your travels. And of course, I’ve also had to purchase a cushion (for mediation), a mat and towel (for Bikram yoga), bathing shoes (for swimming in the dunes) and other such fabulous items for activities that never really got off the ground.

Here’s a great hobby to take up: stuff extermination. Take a walk around your house and you will undoubtedly come across stuff left, right and center. But don’t be too hard on yourself as you do, because it all goes to show that, at some point in the past, you had a great plan and good intentions. And that’s what it’s all about. In my role as a blogger on the specific subject of decluttering, I now have to go to my ballet-thingy class each week wearing my multifunctional yoga pants. Until I’m sure that, this time, my “passion” is in fact a real hit.

Astrid, together with Irene, is the founder of Flow Magazine. She lives with her partner and two children. Each Tuesday, she writes about the senses – and nonsense – behind decluttering.

“Week 23 – Another pastime”