A few years back, a little Japanese woman with OCD wrote an unlikely best seller about organizing your sock drawer. Her mantra was “things should spark joy” and, if they don’t, we should purge those unhappy objects from our home for an uncluttered space.
For the past two weeks, Steve and I have been decluttering our garage and basement. In fact, as I’m typing this, Jonah is bang-bang-banging in the basement and bringing down an ugly drop ceiling, so I can install new lighting and reorganize the space. I need room for my book business. Ian needs a workbench to rebuild computers. And Steve wants a worktable for growing seedlings. We need room for our new lives, so we must purge our old lives — bins of baby books, forgotten musical instruments, and grandma’s tea cups.
While I have some heavy things on my plate right now — a sad article, the exhausting search for a good school for Ian, the uncertainty of how I’ll keep him busy this summer — more things are making me happy. Because this newsletter has covered so many heavy topics for months, I thought I would simply talk about all the things that are sparking joy in my life right now.
4 thoughts on “Busting Through Barriers: What’s Sparking Joy For Me Right Now”
Laura wrote, “A few years back, a little Japanese woman with OCD wrote an unlikely best seller about organizing your sock drawer. Her mantra was “things should spark joy” and, if they don’t, we should purge those unhappy objects from our home for an uncluttered space.”
I was recently watching an appearance by Yekaterina Shulman (the rather elegant Russian political scientist). The appearance was from a couple of weeks after the start of the war in Ukraine. One of her pieces of advice to her Russian audience was not to get rid of unused things right now. She pointed out that you might not like this thing or that thing, but down the road, you can trade it for a can of peas…and then it will spark joy!
My big kids really enjoyed their trip to the bubble tea place this afternoon.
I definitely agree about vacations and how thinking about them is just as much fun as actually doing them. I keep a list of ideas as well as a list of old friends that I could potentially visit. Some trips I’m thinking about:
–one of the Harry Potter theme parks with my youngest (I promised her this as a prize if she finished all of the books, so this is probably the priority)
–going to see an old Russian friend in Malaysia
–planning a long trip for her and her family to the US if they are able to leave Malaysia (WA? Alaska cruise? Disney? Harry Potter? San Antonio?)
–seeing another Russian friend in Hawaii (I’ve never been to Hawaii).
Part of the plan to make this more doable is to lose weight so I can do the ridiculous walking that theme parks and serious travel require. I had a fairly serious Wii Fit (!) routine this spring and also took 400 calories out of my diet per day and lost 9 pounds. That’s not a lot, but I did find that air travel was suddenly a bit more comfortable, which was nice!
Years ago, I was a bit frustrated by the fact that seemingly all of the people I knew bought houses and then immediately renovated them and have gorgeous houses, but we’re at 9+ years of just maintenance and painting. However, as time has gone on, I’ve realized that my revealed preference is that I would prefer to take 4 nice trips with my kids, as opposed to doing some big cosmetic house projects, at least this point in my life. I’d like to redo our powder room, but I have a funny feeling that none of my kids is ever going to reminisce about how awesome the powder room was…
Remember the Facebook effect of Perfect Pictures online. You never see the stack of unwashed laundry on top of overdue library books, next to the pile of shoes that’s just out of the frame.
I am looking forward to seeing those spaces, the computer repair workbench, the book selling business, and the grow space.
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