Monday, February 23, 2015

Comment: Tidying Up

Just got my copy of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kendo from the library. I'd been waiting a couple of months for an available copy,

And while I'm about a third through the book, I've already got the bug. Kendo's premise is you should only have things in your life that "spark joy". This means a lot of crap should exit your home. I worked on my clothes today, but modified it a bit. She says to take every article of clothing from every drawer and closet in the entire house and dump it in front of you and pick up each article and ask, "Does this spark joy?" I've addended another:"Do I wear this a lot?" The two aren't mutually exclusive. I have some dumpy sweats that I love but they don't exactly make me feel joyful, they make me feel warm and cozy. I guess that's a form of joy, isn't it? Utilitarian things can bring joy of a sort.

So I didn't do exactly what Kendo suggests, but I did go through all my drawers and closet and will probably make a pass at them again. I took her instructions and didn't listen to music or anything that could distract me. She is at once whimsical and fierce in her determination that anyone who does her system WILL NOT FAIL. There are a lot of bolded sentences in this book. But it's already a treasure. I'll finish reading it in plenty of time to reap the rewards, even if I make adjustments due to my reality. (Kendo appears young and pretty on the back of the book. Put another way, she does not appear to have kids. But I could be wrong.)

I'm hoping that this zeal will translate to big changes in our environment. Kendo promises this to be so. But I figure if I can get another few days like today where I was focused and had time to work on my own, I'll be able to get rid of some serious shit. Stuff that was weighing me down. 

Because looking at all of the costumes that I wear or have worn, upon scrutiny, are helping me shape who I am now, not who I aspired to be two years ago, or five years ago. I see some of my own whimsical clothing going to the donate bag, because they're just too young for me now. I'm almost fucking fifty. I can't wear a Hello Kitty slap bracelet, even ironically.

So this is a psychological experience for me as well as a physical one. I will be interested in seeing how this develops. It signals change, and promise, and hope.

You have to start somewhere.

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