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Thanks to a very dear friend, I’ve been able to read the latest trendy decluttering book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, or the “KonMari” method book. Or if you are one of the many husbands hearing about it, the “Calamari” book.
If you haven’t heard about this method, it’s basically a distinct philosophy for how to go through your belongings and only keep those things that “spark joy”. It’s not necessairly a “minimalist” method, because if many objects truly bring joy to your life, then you should keep them. I highly advise reading the book if you think this sounds interesting because it’s not as simple as “go room by room picking things up and seeing if they make you happy”.
Anyway, reading through this has made me experience several “light bulb” moments. The biggest one though is that I often tend to “settle”. Everyone has a vision in their heads of what they would love their home to look like. Sometimes it might be an impossible wish (I’d love a mansion!) but often it’s simple things. But what I’ve done, through the years, is to settle. Often because we didn’t have the budget for the things I’d really rather have, but for some reason we couldn’t wait and just went with the “good enough and we don’t hate it” option.
But now I really and truly feel that I can’t settle for anything except what brings me joy. The first thing you are supposed to go through with the KonMari method is your clothing, and just thinking about it makes me a bit worried. I know that there is very little in my closet and dresser that truly sparks joy in me. I settle so often for the cheap thing that fits “ok” and isn’t quite the right color. I settle for hand me downs that I don’t quite like, but aren’t terrible, because I feel guilty about not accepting free things when I’m on such a tight budget. I settle for keeping things I’ll never ever wear, because I might wear them again if I lose 50 pounds, right? (No, the answer is no.)
So I’m sitting here, finishing up the book and saying to myself, “Don’t settle. Don’t do it. Reach for joy… embrace it. Find the things that you really and truly love. If you can’t find anything, wait! You don’t have to buy something if you aren’t going to love it! Save the money until you do! And if you truly need it that day, keep searching until you find it! You are WORTHY of joy. You are WORTHY of having things that you love, that make you happy.”
Today, don’t settle for less than joy. Do something small for yourself that will bring you a bit of joy. Play a game with your kids. Hide in the bathroom with earplugs and a bar of chocolate if you have to! Hug someone. Curl up in a warm blanket and read a book that you’ve been putting off. Embrace Joy!
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