The Chinese New Year is among us. Beginning on the 5thof February, The New Year cleared for landing; the year of the pig! I’ve always heard (and had some exposure to (‘sup MOJO!)) positive traits relating to the big pig personality.
In the Chinese Zodiac calendar, the pig is the last (12th) in the cycle. This means it is a time (if you so fancy observing this uplifting “holiday”) to reflect on the last 11 years. It’s time to take a moment and relax and find joy in the past, and now the present. Think about how you have grown through the struggles and found happiness in the triumphs. All good wills are renewed and strengthened. I like this. And, bonus, the pig is known for good fortune thus this is said to be a year for success and investing. I hope my investment club brings their big game!
Speaking of the last 11 years, I’ve noticed even in just the last handful, it is time for a house purge! Captain Kondo in the house! For reals. Marie Kondo, quite literally becoming a house-hold name (since 2014 but now even bolder) in reference to her “art of tidying”. Her name synonymous with joy or joy-less feelings associated with possessions , Kondo is a sweetly, soft spoken (but prudently purposeful) little lady. Her delicate use of the word “tidying” is meant to be interpreted as aggressively blasting massive percentages of sh*t from your home…in one swoop.
While recently receiving some heat for her practices, as some think she may be a little harsh, my experience has been a positive one. (Possibly because I admittedly made my own rules along the way.) There is no denying that a solid ridding of items gives you lighter energy and pep in your step. She is clear through her practices and Konmari Method that this is an act more than just tossing things. It is a process. Stick to it.
Since I always do things in more of a B+ manner rather than a type A, I was having a ball listening to her advice on Audible as I ripped things from my daughter’s closet. I knew I wasn’t “thanking it” properly (which is a significant step in her method), but I was in a steady rhythm facing little remorse at the time. Then I heard her state that listening to music can cause emotion and should be avoided, “…and under no circumstances listen to me while you are tidying”. Not the first fail, Mizz Kondo! …and won’t be the last.
None the less, she inspired me. I ridded our abode of countless bundles finding myself truly baffled as to where all of this had been held hostage in our short four years of living in our home.
While some may find her tactics amusing (for me the “thanking” was odd at first), she is absolutely onto something. There is so much emotion, foolishly, in the racks of my closet alone. I can purge most things, but clothes have connections for me, even if I don’t wear them often— or ever. That ends this year. Thanks Pig!
There is guilt when purging items that are sentimental, but if you don’t use them and your senses are not fully sparked, it’s time to move it along. She states that even if you purchased a shirt and have never worn it once, the purchase brought you joy at the time. You felt happiness then. You are ready to thank that shirt for (1) bringing you the moment of joy and (2) (I love this one) teaching you what no longer suits you. So kind, so powerful. Bye shirt! (and shhhhh…..Still holding on to the corner of my closet with my mom’s and grandmother’s vintage sparkles….for now.)
As for the birthday cards and letters I have saved, I do love them. I will continue to hold on to those handmade by pals or when re-read, bring me – you guessed it, joy. However, many folks hold on to a lot of snail mail. Kondo suggests the purpose of the card was served at the time of delivery. You felt good that someone was thinking of you. Now you can discard. Done.
Through all of her genius advisory, she never really mentions that parents of small children get any kind of pass. Or at least in this book I finally got my hands on (albeit late to the game, I know). While my kiddos may not be finding joy daily in most possessions, their interests change like the wind. I’ve hidden a cheater bin in our garage for if and when they inquire about those items currently less dear. ….also, shhhh on that one.
Another guilty behavior of mine is stock piling. One may observe that the surplus in my pantry (and craft closet) is designed for survival of the apocalypse for the entire block to live on for a year. I panic and stock up if my kids request it. Or I’ll have certain condiments I’ll buy on repeat at the mere thought that I may be running low. I’m not. I have 7 of them, I assure you. She has advice for this too.
Kondo calls your purge a “tidying festival”! Doesn’t that sound like a hoot? She says to reduce your possessions until something clicks. I felt the click, and I’m hooked. I wish my children felt the same.
Let it be known, it is human nature to resist tossing things. I made reference to the Toy Story movies often during the process. Good and Bad. I felt sad to part with things, though if these items had feelings, they would be grateful to be set free from the back of the cabinet or bottom of the toy bin.
So 2019, an auspicious year in many ways (already!), is the year of thinking like a pig, but maybe not living like one. Create the perfect cocktail of Chinese New Year mindset and Japanese inspired, Zen environment.
May it bring you joy and lots of it.