As many of you probably have also done recently, I stumbled upon that pixie-esque Japanese delight that is Marie Kondo via her ubiquitous Netflix series, Tidying Up with Mario Kondo. I had a vague notion of who she was via my layman’s knowledge of the cultural zeitgeist, but I was woefully uninformed on the truly life changing art that can come from purging your shit. Anyhoo, after watching a few episodes, I decided to think about just what does and does not spark joy in my life…truth not much. All touchy-feely thanking your clothes as you chuck them in a trash bag aside, Mrs. Kondo makes some goods points with her patented KonMarie method.
I’ve noticed over the last 716 days that I’ve been husband-less that I’ve started to fill the void in my life with “things”. It started slowly at first, perhaps out of boredom, that I might go to Ulta just to browse; or open the Amazon app just to see what they recommended for me. Now, almost 2 years later, (ugh the dreaded deathiversary is fast approaching) I’m Diamond status at Ulta, and have a whole 3rd bedroom full of still-packed boxes of my former married life, as well as Amazon boxes full of crap I don’t need. Who buys a bedazzled dickie or marble-look bathroom cups just because Amazon suggests them? I do.
When I first bought and moved into my post-marital home last year, there was a lot to do and a lot to buy, and I have to admit, I was kind of getting a rush from buying a new comfy couch, selecting the perfect quartz counter top, and going all in on a fancy front loader washer and dryer. So many paint color choices! Is the thread count on these sheets high enough? Never mind that I had like 4 sets of perfectly fine sheets somewhere in a box. I needed to buy these new ones. My former self would have been ashamed. Who succumbs to basic domesticity so easily? Oh. That’s right. A widow who has already had to succumb to playing the game of life with a 2-7 offsuit hand. It’s starting to make sense now!
So after folding my underwear in thirds and letting my socks “rest” as Marie suggests, I started to get inspired. What else could I start storing vertically so it’s viewable in my life? Better yet, what could I just say “Arigato” and “Sayonara” to and start to remove some of the weight off this emotional yolk I’ve been bearing? (Sidenote: the yolk is a very deep emotional metaphor for how I feel burdened daily that I came up with in therapy. Continuously evolving y’all.) Since I’m finally starting to learn that the tiny rush I get from ordering stuff and seeing the box on my doorstep, or grabbing the latest mascara and earning more points, is fleeting, and that I generally feel just the same or worse later, it’s time to think of all the good the purge does. I’ve started to avoid and purge negative influences as well. It’s not just my stuff I need out of my house; it’s some of the dark emotions and feelings that rumble around in my head that need to go. It’s letting go of the hurt I feel towards people who let me down. It’s starting to remove the “stuckness” I have and opening myself up to moving forward…in whatever fashion that may be. It is also totally about thanking my Camp Horizons ’97 t-shirt and tossing it because it no longer sparks joy for me. Until I;m a totally self-actualized human being, I’ll just be breaking down a bunch of cardboard in my guest room.