In my continuing effort to make life livable, I’ve sunk to self-help books. It’s a poignant conundrum. The more you succumb to self-help books, the more of a loser you are, by definition.
Still. I have high hopes for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. a worldwide best seller that makes a bold promise:
In this book, I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever.
The book is slim, like The Prophet, and similarly filled with wisdom, only more useful wisdom. I vaguely recall stuff from The Prophet, like your children are arrows and sadness is a well or something. Great.
But compare that to the revelation that everything you own should spark joy. If you pick something up and you don’t feel any joy, YOU DON’T KEEP IT!
It’s such a huge but simple concept. All the shit you’ve acquired is shit that you have to put somewhere and there’s just too much of it. Duh, you know that. But you don’t know how to cull your stuff, and you’ve tried so many times. You can’t get rid of stuff because you paid good money for it, you might need it, you might lose weight. it’s a memento, it was a gift, it isn’t broken, one day you’ll give it to someone.
Anyway, the first brilliant edict from the author, Marie Kondo, that shook me to the core was this:
Don’t demote clothing to ‘lounge-wear.’
Right?!? Even my husband admitted to this practice. If something is too ugly or worn out to wear in public, you put it with your PJ’s. Ms. Kondo insists that even when you’re at home, you should be wearing something that sparks your joy. Right now I’m wearing a green tank top that I’m going to throw away later tonight, because the color and cut bring me NO FUCKING JOY, none.
It’s that simple.
So, I’m not following Kondo’s instructions to the letter but I’m making a start. I emptied each drawer of my dresser and picked up each item. If there was a distinct No Joy feeling, I made a contemptuous face and threw it on the floor. If there was a ‘meh’ feeling, I hesitated.
But I did collect two bags of shit to throw away. I have to go around the house and do this with everything. It will be exhausting but I think I can eliminate tons of stuff from my amassed belongings, which have become burdensome.
I also got a book for parents whose adult children hate them. It is somewhat comforting.
Throwing shit out is the way to go, the road to harmony and contentment. Maybe the less I need, the less needy I will seem. I will be spartan, disciplined, and self-contained. I will accept no nonsense from green tank tops.
And throwing shit out puts you in a position of power, which is good. Like George Bush said about Donald Rumsfeld, I am The Decider.