sonia replied, "My immediate response to this was, 'Why? There's nothing wrong with flitting.'"
It's a good question, and, given the day, one i'd like to meditate on at more length.
I know i have a certain need for novelty, but i also have a need for a deeper satisfaction. When i stick with using tools i develop a proficiency that then leads to a pleasure of having a skill.
Part of my flitting is inspired by new school (or art or craft) supplies and the promise of a fresh start, the possibilities the new supplies signify. (Or new books that i don't read or new notebooks i do not write in or new....) I start, and then flit off again. It's very common, i think: the term "UFO" in the yarn world to designate an "Un-Finished Object" points to the temptation even when one stays within a craft. In our culture, for the many who are moderately affluent, it's easier to buy new supplies for a new project than it is to finish an existing project. And if the existing project isn't going quite right, or some of the pleasure has waned, the new project is free of those associations, and exists in the potential of perfection and joy.
So now that i have a new shiny toy, a digital art device, i reflect on the other drawing tablet devices i've bought over the years and have used once or twice, the stacks of supplies, and i want to stick with this and pursue my creation to some level of satisfaction. I'd had a box of 64 crayons and a sketch pad next to my bed for a long time, well over a year, but after discovering an application called Skitch, i'd been doodling on my phone before sleep. It's the consistency with which i used that application -- not very consistent, but consistent enough -- that made me covet the iPad. I had more colors of crayons than i had in the palette on Skitch, but the ease of managing my phone made it easier to use the application to sketch.
Buying such an expensive New Thing did make me think about all the space allocated to the old things, lying fallow. I'd passed on old acrylic paints this fall, keeping the one product line that i really like. I think i could stand to do more lightening. Intensify what i know i enjoy and use, let go of the older dreams that walked through my life.
I can remember a really powerful session scribbling with the crayons, venting anger onto a page. I know that physicality isn't in the tablet. But is that potential need for a future catharsis enough to keep that tool around? I don't think so: i will still have paints to have a tactile physical experience.
Flitting and acquiring are great practices for exploration: i think i want to move on to discovery, be more intentional, let go of dusty habits and tools and decorative items and books.
I can't imagine i will stop trying new things, but new is a fractal experience.
We can look at a young child and recognize a new life, celebrate the newness of a new year, awaken to a new dawn, or even recognize the new beginning available with an intentional deep breath. The cycles within cycles are there, providing new opportunity and novelty wherever one wishes to find it.
So, instead of new tools, new techniques with existing tools. Instead of a new wardrobe, pare away the clutter and worn items to see the core essence of the wardrobe i have. Digest what i read instead of dashing on to the next new bit of information.
There's nothing wrong with flitting: there's a beauty and a joy available there. I'm feeling a need to make a change, like a season shifting, though.
I don't know how much is symbolic, tied to the need for change at work, and how much is tied to spiritual change and practice, and how much is a pragmatic examination of the "total cost of ownership" of stuff.
It's good change though, i think.