Before I go on, I have to admit a little addiction to Pinterest. More than half my new recipes come from the site, and I’ve even ended up with some DIY projects I’m proud of. But as wonderful as the creative sharing and inspiration is, I’ve realized I don’t need Pinterest in my life. And this realization was overdue.
The curtain escapade got me thinking, because I know I could’ve DIYed something even cooler with the same amount of money (for instance, these stenciled curtains). But honestly, the job just didn’t appeal to me. Doing five sets of two extra tall panels would have been incredibly time consuming and draining, and the logistics of getting ten panels done at the same time was rather hairy. I decided the DIY wasn’t worth the rewards.
And you know what? I found myself feeling guilty for not DIYing. Why?
I think the ever-growing do-it-yourself trend is messing with my mind more than I realized.
Let me be honest. I’ve got a bazillion pins on pinterest (well, 702 as of this writing). Some are pure eye candy that just make me dreamy. Some are inspiration for outfits I wish I had/hope will fit my body type. Some are projects that fall into the “Someday, when I have time, you know, like, after kids…” category (which really means never). Interspersed in this mass of photo imprints are a few inspirational pieces (chalkboard furniture anyone?), recipes (jalapeno poppers!), small projects (pillows!), and awesome style ideas I’ve actually achieved. My boards show my flights of fancy, encouraging me to try new things and not limit myself.
But sometimes, the sum of this reposted creativity leaves me ill-content instead of inspired. My pins represent a lot of time that I just don’t have, and awesome places and things that are still out of reach. In short, I see green grass in the land of DIY and brown in my own.
Ever felt the same way? Betcha have. And so, without ado, I present the five reasons you (and I) don’t need pinterest anymore.
1. Pinterest gives people delusions of grandeur. Pinteresters post some freaking awesome – and freaking HUGE – projects. We fall in love with the ideas that are beyond our current abilities and resources. But if it’s on a DIY blog or pinterest, it must be pretty easily achievable, right? It’s easy to say you’ll “get around to it someday” and use that as an excuse to keep pinning giant projects you have no intention of ever undertaking. We need to remember that the article where we found the project is only the tip of the iceberg. Bloggers and DIY enthusiasts put a lot more time into one post than we realize. Sure, the kitchen makeover might be amazing, but you know what? Even a DIY kitchen is huge, expensive, and draining, even if it is awesome (trust me on this). Know what you’re getting into.
2. Your time is money. Pinterest can be a huge time suck. It eats up our time to actually do something and substitutes endless explorations in the theoretical realm. If you beat that obstacle, consider the time and effort you’ll put into a project. Are you creating something for way cheaper than you can buy it? Creating something that you’ll cherish for years? Then go for it. But beware if you’re undertaking a project vastly bigger than your experience and more costly than the awesome mirror you spied at HomeGoods. If that’s what you have in mind, reconsider. NOW. Your time is limited, just like your money, so don’t spend it all in one place.
3. You don’t need to feel guilty/incompetent/insufficient. This is what happens when delusions of grandeur run smack into reality. It’s what happens when you start thinking, Everybody else makes awesome stuff, why can’t I?! I don’t have time to do that project! Ahhh I feel like a lousy designer/housekeeper/human being! Deep breaths now, it’s okay. You are not failing at life. Not everyone is given the same talents and skill set. We all have different demands on our time. Some of us get a thrill out of creating something new, and some of us could live in a barn and not notice. Sure, anybody can spray paint, but if you don’t like hand-stitching a queen-size baby blanket, why are you feeling guilty about it?
4. The pros are the pros for a reason. Our house was a hot mess when we bought it thanks to previous owners’ shoddy attempts at everything from painting to that awful spindle counter support to a mantelpiece replacement (you can still see the outline of the old one). It was awful. Don’t be like those folks and take on a project bigger than your expertise, enthusiasm, or ability to plan. Hey, even the local DIY gods rely on the pros to take out a wall. The pros bring experience, speed, project cohesiveness and quality skill that the rest of us just can’t gain in a few hours. We had a kitchen consultant help shape our kitchen plans, and we still got into trouble in a few areas where we tried to do it ourselves. The “just do it” attitude can lead to some major bumps.
5. It’s all just stuff in the end. This is key to enjoying Pinterest/DIY projects for what they are. Here’s the thing: the cultural valuation of frugality is WAY up these days, and we’re DIYing a lot more than we did in years past, but we’re still amassing stuff. We still fall into keeping up with the Jonses, only now we make the coveted objects instead of buying them. In the end, everything we emboss and wrap in yarn will disappear. Poof. No more. So why do we let our hearts feel discontented? I wholeheartedly believe that God created people to be creative, but our creativity comes out in so many more ways than we can pin. As basic as that is, I know I’ve sometimes lost sight of it during the years-long project of remodeling a house and even the hours-long project of mounting a huge map on foamcore.
Okay, that’s all out of my system now. It’s a little bit of a rant, but it’s a lot a bit true. At least for me. I’m so prone to rushing into a project and not planning well, or looking at my favorite blogs with a mild sense of panic at all they accomplished while I was untangling knots in my yarn.
At the heart of all my little insecurities about Pinterest/DIY culture is the simple sin of believing I’m meant to do it (or have it) all. That’s simply not true.
Beauty for beauty’s sake is easily corrupted and manipulated. Creativity is the same way. That’s why I need to constantly remind myself of what’s important. What’s anchoring me. And it sure isn’t something I made with my hands.
I’m not quitting pinterest (“duh”). But I am laying out my “pinning philosophy” here, so I remember that pinterest is something to encourage me and not demoralize me. It’s simply this: Pin away, dear heart. And at the end of every day, look around you at the people you love and say to yourself, “Wow. I have everything I need, right here. Thanks God.”