Her name is Marie Kondo.
A petite, little itty bitty woman, barely 4’7″ tall.
But she has become a giant in the decluttering industry.
She has built an empire on tidying up, clearing away, and sparking joy.
Born in Japan, where space is at a premium, she discovered her love of organizing while she was a youngster in school, preferring to clean up the classroom or put the library books back on the shelves instead of joining her classmates in gym class.
She has written several books, has her own Netflix series helping hoarders declutter their homes and their lives, and has made numerous guest appearances on talk shows.
Her method is dubbed the KonMari method, after her own name.
And her mission is not so much to get rid of what you don’t want or need anymore, but to only keep what sparks joy.
Quite a paradigm shift to the fine art of decluttering.
Only keep what sparks joy.
To look at an item, and if you do not feel a twinge of connectedness, of joy, then get rid of it.
Thanking the item for its use before purging it is optional.
And whether your style is minimalist or maximalist, like me, every single item in your home should be sparking joy.
Well, I would like to go one step further this year.
The start of a new decade is a great excuse to start a new regimen.
I would like to go so far as to only DO things that spark joy.
But it will be much easier said than done.
How to say “no” to any and all social engagements or events that do not spark joy.
That only bring on a wave of social angst to endure and get through, and leave a lasting dent of dissatisfaction.
It will be very difficult.
I will be called selfish and unsociable.
And activities that fulfill a sense of duty and require the utmost in patience, such as taking elderly parents out for shopping or lunch, even though it requires a 3 1/2 hour commute, do not count. Those will be undertaken always, because one day I will not have the privilege of that duty.
And of course work and volunteering sparks my joy, because I love all the things that I do, the many hats that I wear, my busy little plate, and the feeling of contributing to society.
But as I celebrate another birthday this year, that annual and continuing reminder that we are all just one step closer to God, and having just read The Late Show by the late, great Helen Gurley Brown, a wonderful tome on getting older and loving it, I will take Helen’s suggestion and do more of whatever it is I love.
And that will include, but is not limited to, taking an online course with the University of Guelph, going for more walks with hubby, taking a yoga class once per week, and napping on the couch with a cat on my lap.
It will indeed be very difficult, and I apologize in advance to anyone who may be hurt or offended.
Please don’t take it personally.
But if it is not sparking joy, perhaps life is too short for it.