Choosing Joy…

Zion /

One of the things that has been nagging at me for the last year or so is how much stuff we have accumulated and how much of it we are not using. When I 1st got sick I thought, Oh wow! I’m gonna have all this down time to finally go through all the closets and cubby holes in this house, scan the thousands of photos I have into the computer and when all this sickness stuff is over I will  have a clean and  organized house! Yeah, not so much. I have definitely made progress however and while there is less clutter than before there is still quite a bit to go.

I have been following a few bloggers that post stuff they are reading. One book kept coming up over and over again and since it goes right in line with what I am attempting to do right now I bought it the other day. The book became popular last year so I am a touch behind the times in sharing this with you now. But since I spent most of last year laying on my couch staring at the wall, I decided to cut myself some slack and own that this is where I am today… pretty much a year behind everyone else, and tell you about a book that was popular last year that I am just now discovering. It’s called the life changing-changing magic of tidying up the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. I am one quarter of the way through it and what has struck me the most is how she connects the feeling of joy with stuff.

I am not a big shopper but I have a lot of stuff. I think somewhere along the line stuff began to equal security. Mr. Wonderful and I didn’t get married until I was 30. (this was sooo not my desire as I had liked him for 4 years … but this is a whole other story.) Anytime previous to this date all of the stuff getting passed down for future generations was getting passed right on by me. My siblings were married and therefore would likely have heirs for which to pass on such things. I wasn’t married nor did I live in the same state as the rest of my family so, no stuff for me.

Boy did that all change after I got married. All the parental units in my life started downsizing and we were dragging uhauls all over the place to pick up stuff that was either sentimental to me or just newer than what we had at home. It turns out that I have a huge sentimental gene in me so pretty much everything was a must have, including all the family photos dating back to the 1800’s. When I got sick everything began to close in on me. I just so desperately wanted all of my spaces to be clean and tidy and uncluttered. I realized that I have storage closets with boxes in them that haven’t been touched in 7.5 years. If I haven’t seen it in 7 years do I really need it?

So this is what Marie says in her book. Go by category beginning with your clothes, pick up each article and look at it, touch it, feel it and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?” If the answer is no then you can get rid of it, if  you are having a hard time disposing of it because it was a gift or you have some other sentimental attachment to it then look at it, thank it for bringing  you joy for a season and then let it go. I love this! I love this question of bringing joy because it corresponds to so many different areas of life. What attitudes, thoughts, dreams, ideas, relationships am I holding on to that no longer bring me joy? When you walk through something hard, I don’t care what it is, illness, death of loved ones or tragedies of any kind what really matters to you comes to the surface pretty quickly. For me it’s faith, family, friends, wisdom, growth and expressing myself through the written word. These are the things in life that bring me the most joy so my desire is that anything that creeps into my life that forces me to ignore or walk away from those key areas needs to be discarded.

It is amazing how freeing this is! There is freedom in knowing what brings you joy. I don’t think a year ago I would have had an answer to this question of joy. Life is really hard. I don’t need to tell you how hard or go into details because you already know. Your story is different than mine but you have a story. Interestingly enough not one of the things that I have decided that bring me the most joy in life is a material possession. Don’t get  me wrong I love a new pair of shoes but they are not what bring me the most joy. So I’m going to keep reading my book and get rid of more stuff and really begin to look at my life through the lense of joy.

Have a great day , All!

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  1. Judy Gederos says

    This so hits home…..I love your thoughts!!!

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