Over the last few weeks I have been taking a long hard look at my shaving gear. With that look came the revelation that I did not need, and in fact did not really use, a good portion of the stuff that I had acquired. This process of evaluation was initially prompted by The Nationwide Box Tour, hosted by The Shave Den shaving forum. The Nationwide Box Tour is an event in which a box of shaving gear is passed around to participants; each person takes some gear out, puts some gear in, and then sends it along to the next recipient. It’s a fun way to get rid of some stuff that you no longer use and to try out some stuff that you might not have otherwise come into contact with. It is also a good way to help evaluate what gear you really actually want. For me the tour triggered an avalanche of reorganization and reduction. I realized that my shave den was out of control, and it needed to be reigned in.
From that revelation came the PIFing away of an entire set up (a razor, a few creams, a soap, several packs of blades, a ceramic bowl, and a brush). Following my PIF I also sold off ten, count ’em TEN of my least used products. I currently have some razors up for sale and I am even considering selling off my traditional straight razors and strops. Basically, anything that I haven’t used in a month or more found its self being asked the question, “Soooo, what is it that you would say you DO around here?” I’ve come to the settling in stage of my traditional wet shaving life. I’ve found the products that work really well for me and I have very little interest in anything else. That’s not to say that I have tried everything that I want to, but the urgency of my desires has cooled significantly. I still want to try out Cyril Salter shave creams, the entire Dreadnought line up, and a really nice Horse/Badger mixed loft brush, but that stuff can wait. I’m happy with what I have…and what I am not happy with does not have long before it meets up with the chopping block.
When a new hobby or idea presents its self it is not unusual for folks to want to learn every aspect of that new thing. Sometimes it becomes an addiction, something that you have to do more and more frequently in order to feel satisfied. Sometimes it becomes a passing fad, something that interested you at first, but quickly lost its appeal over time. Sometimes it becomes a quirky part of your life, something that you enjoy without allowing it to take up a huge chunk of your time. I like traditional wet shaving and I enjoy what I get from it, but I have finally come to the point where it’s time to scale down my hobby from a slight addiction to a healthy interest.
It’s fun to emerse yourself in something new and exciting, but it’s important to take a breath every now and then.