Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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If we were having coffee this weekend I would invite you to join the world wide gathering of coffee and tea drinkers who share an interest in reading and writing. It is fun to be back at the table with such a diverse and interesting crowd. I feel good about hosting you this weekend because I just received my fall order from my favorite tea company. Even though I had many on hand, I just love having a wide variety of tea because we drink it all day every day. I also drink coffee, but cold tea is our main beverage de la casa. I can offer you roiboos, honeybush, green, white, and fruit based tea. I am binging on one of the new ones, a green tea with caramel hints for fall. It is not overly flavored, but the hint of caramel lingers after I drink it.
If we shared our deepest conflict of the week mine would have to be the stand off in which I find myself with the Japanese tidy lady, Marie Kondo. She has published two books that have inspired a wave of praise. I decided to have my robot Alexa, and Audible in general, read her first book to me. This step by step guide to clearing out junk by clearing out emotional clutter is specific and wonderfully logical. After hearing The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up I realized that I had no hard copy, and would never be able to follow her intricate folding technique without that. I bought her second book, Spark Joy, in the kindle print version, then added narration in order to continue my audio tutelage from Ms Kondo. I listen to her at home and at the gym. I am convinced she is right about everything.
While I do donate and cull my possessions all the time I know I will not have permanent freedom from clutter, both emotional and physical, until I follow the tidy steps. Instead of doing that I am listening to the books and telling everyone how great they are. I have not started the program, and have, indeed, while supposedly enrolled in Ms Kondo’s Key to Happiness class, placed a big tea order without going through my tea cupboard to tidy. I have also purchased a fabulous reversible jacket on sale at a thrift store that came out to just $3 per jacket, if you count both sides. I am a complete jacket-a-holic. I know when I finally make the clothing piles the jacket pile will be the most obscene and ridiculous. I have them stashed in every closet and in the barn. Marie would so bust me, and in fact, she has fully busted me rhetorically. I would like to see her try to bust me in person…really I would. I am now using major procrastination, thinly disguised as training, to listen to the books instead of doing the tidying. I am pretty sure this is antithetical.
I had a comical conversation about the tidy lady and her program with a friend who is a successful real estate agent. She owns lots of stuff as well as lots of real estate. We discussed the perils of owning a barn. In the end we decided we should just walk around and give our stuff directly to homeless people. We would have fun doing it. However I go about this I need to commence. The agony of procrastination is not worth it. I am not a terrible hoarder, but am certainly meeting the part of me that would just as soon become one in the future. Her little shadow persona must be brought to heel.
I enjoy hearing from all you nordics at the coffee party, with your leaf colors, and your fall customs. I had to buy a new air conditioning unit last week because it is still very hot in Tucson, and mine died. I did get a good deal from a local company, so all is well. I have every kind of tea, and the house is cool and comfy. I think you will be fine with the present level of tidy, but don’t open my office closet.
I have been listening to the popular book by Marie Kondo, the life changing magic of tidying up. She is an expert in this field who has a very specific way to approach all possessions in consideration of the happiness of the objects, as well as the joy of the owner. Her technique is being adopted all over the world, but she is from Japan, a country where living space is much smaller typically than housing in the US. She has been kind of obsessed with organizing and tidying since she was a very young child. Her overview of the practices as well as the pitfalls of common elimination and storage strategies is brilliant. Formulas, as she demonstrates, must be simplistic, or they backfire.
She has helped me see the light about my yo-yo decluttering habits. Exactly like yo- yo diets, the system that does not holistically evaluate the perfect items to keep as well as the way to permanently let go of objects will end in rebound to the status quo. In the exact same way people buy weight loss products rather than making a permanent life style change, some of us buy organizing and storage products rather than just trimming down the volume of what needs to be stored. She has my number. I am addicted to the concierge pick up service offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. When they call I always gather a load for them to pick up in front of my garage. Since I began this practice I have significantly reduced my total volume of items that I own. It makes me feel accomplished every time. However, this temporary feeling of successful lightening of the load is always…I can admit now it is always….followed by more junk that creeps back up and fills my office desk, my closets, and sometimes my garage. I am too old to allow this to continue. This is just mastery over my space, so I am not sure what is so difficult.
I love systems, and think the end result must be heavenly. She promises that if you go through each and every item as instructed your breakthrough to minimalist living will be complete. I am sure she is right that dealing with your stuff is dealing with your past. If you only deal with part of it, you will never be finished. One of her points really hit home for me: You can deal with your stuff right now, later, or never. Right now is the only one that does anyone any good. The stuff contains that “emotional baggage” about which we hear so much. When you have properly dealt with the reasons you keep stuff, you have fully examined the past and put it to rest.
Do you struggle to stay tidy, gentle reader? Or are you a natural?