“Do not wish for an easy life, wish for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”
There’s a chance that this post may be longer than usual, it may be that I have more thoughts than usual or more precisely tangible thoughts. In general I likely overthink to begin with but the thoughts tend to be wandering and hard to pin down, this time that’s not the case. Right now my thoughts relate to this pervasive feeling of being in the midsts of a sort of quarter life crisis and the personal desire to follow Marie Kondo’s advice to: “organize [my] space, thoroughly, completely, in one go”.
I started this journey before but never saw it to completion, Marie Kondo’s method worked, perhaps, a little too well for me, if that’s even logical to say. It seems nonsensical to say that I went through the process without completing it and yet had it work too well for me. I’ll explain what I mean by this… In the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” Marie Kondo makes some rather big claims of how her method of organizing has correspondingly changed other aspects of people’s lives from careers to relationships, etc, etc. While reading about this I had my reservations in my mind and thought, “Hey, if anything extra comes of this cool, if not my main concern is to simply have a neat and clean space, anything else is extra,” but no there was extra, in the middle of this process I ended up getting the first job I applied to out of nursing school in the area that I was most interested in working and hence my attentions were redirected from there. So here I am again trying to revisit the process I had abandoned a good while ago.
On my new journey I’m giving myself a six month time frame, it’s more or less Marie Kondo’s suggestion regarding the time frame and I quite agree with it, it’s ample time to put in the tidying work necessary to get the work done and yet is short enough to not feel like it’s a lifetime of tidying. I’ve also recognized papers as one of my greatest foes on this journey. Going through papers is boring, monotonous, time consuming, and so many other different assortments of annoying to me-hence I’ve allotted myself a whole three month stretch to dedicate to this category alone and I’m nearing the end of my first month on this journey.
In going through my papers I’ve decided to utilize this blog in some of my organizing, I intend to transfer some of my scattered thoughts on scattered papers here in this one single simple space, the first of which is some of the notes I made on the Marie Kondo book that I read.
The premise of Marie Kondo’s method of discarding can be summed up to holding each item in your hands and asking the question, “Does this spark joy?” If it does then you keep the item and if not you get rid of it.
One of the notes I made was making a list of the order in which to discard items according to Marie Kondo being as follows:
- Tops (shirts, sweaters, etc.)
- Bottoms (pants, skirts, etc.)
- Clothes that should be hung (jackets, coats, suits, etc.)
- Bag (handbags, messenger bags, etc.)
- Accessories (scarves, belts, hats, etc.)
- Clothes for specific events (swimsuits, kimonos, uniforms, etc.)
- Papers (ew)
- Komono (miscellany)
- CDs, DVDs
- Skin care products
- Valuables (passports, credit cards, etc.)
- Electrical equipment and appliances (digital cameras, electrical cords, anything that seems vaguely “electric”). “Mysterious cords will always remain just that-a mystery. Keep only those cords that you can clearly identify and get rid of the rest.”
- Household equipment (stationery and writing materials, sewing kits, etc.)
- Household supplies (expendables like medicine, detergents, tissues, etc.)
- Kitchen goods/food supplies (spatulas, pots, blenders, etc.)
- Other (spare change, figurines, etc.)
- Mementos (Photos: cherish who you are now)
Now I’ll just list or write the rest of the meat of the notes I made (many of these points are likely quoted, but these were notes so I don’t actually remember which are and which aren’t):
- Keep only what speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.
- Sorting papers: Rule of thumb-discard everything.
- Lecture materials: “It’s paradoxical, but I believe that precisely because we hang on to such materials, we fail to put what we learn into practice.”
- To truly cherish the things the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.
- When you’re choosing what to keep, ask your heart; when you are choosing where to store something, ask your house.
- When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or fear for the future.
- People have trouble discarding things that they could still use (functional value), that contain helpful information (informational value), and what have sentimental ties (sentimental value). When these things are hard to obtain or replace (rarity), they become even harder to part with.
Notes on the role of family:
- It’s extremely stressful for parents to see what their children discard.
- To quietly work away disposing of your own excess is actually the best way of dealing with a family that doesn’t tidy.
- The urge to point out someone else’s failure is usually a sign that you are neglecting to take care of your own space.
- If you live with your family, first clearly define separate storage spaces for each family member.
I might add more if I feel like it to this post, but for now I feel tired and so I’ll stop here.
“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”
~Morozko the Winter King from Katherine Arden’s second book in the Winternight trilogy, “The Girl In the Tower”
I like remembering dreams sometimes. I thought the dream I had last night was quite worth remembering. In the dream I was off on vacation with my family and it was almost like a bed and breakfast sort of place that I went to. I was exploring the property and found a barn with a horse close to escaping the stall, she was a dark brown horse and for some reason I could understand her. She wanted me to go to her foals and pointed me in the right direction. She wanted me to save them and as I was leaving the stall another voice whispered to me “It’s too late”. I didn’t understand what the voice had meant. When I went to where she wanted me to go I found her four foals, they had the same coat as their mother, and I saw that they were stuck in the mud and unable to break free. I helped pull the first two out, the third seemed tired, but came out as well. The last was deeply covered in mud but I could still hear it breathing. I went to the last foal to try to save it as well, but then woke up at this point. I think that this is the first time I’ve dreamed of horses.
I’m basing this post off of Hal Erod’s concept of the “Miracle Morning” entailing six steps to get the most out of one’s day on the basis of starting off on the best foot possible first thing in the morning.
There’s an acronym that’s used in order to remember what these six steps are and it is: SAVERS…
I feel like for myself affirmations and scribing come almost second nature. I have a board in my room where I have an affirmation at any given point in time and it changes with my mood, at this point in time it says “Start before you’re ready”. Also with regard to scribing I having notebooks lying about every which way and this blog is almost simply another extension of this. The only issue with the “Miracle Morning” bit is that these activities aren’t necessarily isolated to mornings for myself.
As for the remainder of the acronym the reason why I’ve entitled this post a “Mini Miracle Morning” is because I’m only considering adopting two more of the six as of now. Those being: reading and exercise, reading I do often enough, but I don’t necessarily start off my day doing so and as for exercise I’m definitely slacking in this department.
As for the last two of the six, perhaps I have to learn them still or perhaps they’re already second nature? I’m not sure which is more true, after all my whole life seems to be me jumping back and forth between reality and daydreams (would this count as my visualization?) and I’m told so often by so many people that I’m very calm perhaps I already seek out enough of this silence to find general peace? Or perhaps I’m misunderstanding his point as I’ve not read his book, but if you’d like a quick visual of the gist of his concept this post has a nice visual of it: Start Your Day Off Right with the SAVERS Morning Routine.
This will be my attempt to vie for a small sum of my own sanity, that part of my sanity mainly applying to the state and order of our house at this moment in time.
You see our house is often messy and in most instances I’m the one making an effort to keep it orderly and clean, but that leaves me with little time to do all the others things I wish to do, between being one of the main caretakers to an elementary aged sister and working about 13 hour night shifts full time.
I’ve circled back around to an old but forgotten state of mind: to focus on my own space and simply maintain a bare minimum of the remaining spaces.
Kon Marie for one promotes the idea of focusing on ones owns space and reaching full and complete order within that space. So my idea is to follow her advice and a little of my own by doing the basic 4 essentials of housework: laundry, dishes, floor, and trash. This is with the hope of making progress and having time for other things, as well as to escape some of my own personal neuroticism.
Hopefully this won’t be to difficult to stick to and hopefully it will serve to aid me, because these things are mostly within my own locus of control so I won’t have to look too far outside of myself to find some inkling of sanity.
I should not expect more than this minimum from myself with regard to housework, that sort of stress isn’t necessary. I need to accept imperfection from myself and from life because in order to get more out of other aspects of life I need to give a little from other parts. The house can be imperfect, good is good enough, don’t get swept away by the internal current of over-expectation. Remember just the basics and don’t forget: Aim for you’re own spaces to be at 100%, but the shared spaces only require the standard four tasks, after those are taken care of your time is yours to spend as you wish.
My earliest inkling of this notion was in high school when I needed that little pick-me-up, to kick-start my motivation a bit and in that time a small voice in my head thought to advise me to Just do it! So when that thought floated through my mind I wrote it down on my white board as a little reminder to myself to remember to take action and it worked for quite some time. Of course I later realized that this was already a widely used slogan by Nike and so I started to distance myself a little from this phrase as it started to feel more like some bit of propaganda rather than a motivational mantra, but I always sought out some other sorts of concepts like it to hold its place.
As of late two things catch my attention in much the same way.
The first is the concept of “Eat That Frog”. The concept first came from Mark Twain who said, “If your job is to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first”. I found an article that I liked that expands more on this titled: Mark Cuban wakes up every morning at 6:30—here’s the first thing he does. Mark Cuban from shark tank applies this thought process to his actions each day stating that: “Whatever the stressful things are, I try to get those out of the way in the morning”. To go even further with this concept Brian Tracy also wrote a Book titled Eat That Frog and covers this idea in that book also.
For the second concept that I liken to the Just do it! state of mind is to: “Start Before You’re Ready”, which I heard from Marie Forleo and is actually my favorite of these three concepts at the moment because it’s a definite call to action and makes me feel more like I’m called to not only my big goal for a day, but somehow makes me feel more drawn to my bigger life goals as well.
Sometimes it can be hard to gain momentum or to stop procrastinating, but when one is open to the notion it’s very clear to see that there is great beauty in action.
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
I always feel hesitant to write reviews on my favorite books because I feel like I won’t do them the justice that they deserve, but I feel like trying is still better than not doing it at all. I’ve decided to review this book at this point in time once again to write the review within season, since this book has very much a winter setting to it.
Spinning Silver is just as good as Uprooted to me. Each book is great in its own unique way and each book is a stand alone book with roots in Russian fairy tales. Spinning Silver in particular is a sort of a modern day retelling of the story of Rumplestiltskin. I’m not interested in giving away too much of its plot line, if you happen to want to read this book I want you to be able to savor it and let it unfold for yourself.
What I’d rather do is tell you some of the things that I enjoyed about reading this book:
1.) There are many strong leading female characters that are self-reliant, intelligent, and that don’t rely solely on beauty to carry them through life.
2.) There is a very interesting abandoned house in the story where a witch (quite likely Baba Yaga) once lived and it is almost a character in and of itself. What makes this house so interesting to me is that two people can be staying at the house simultaneously and never notice each other’s presence save for little things being changed around the house: some eaten food here, some new foods there, some sewing completed more than the last time it was picked up by a character, or a chair moved from its prior place the night before, strange little things as these. I loved this concept from the book and probably could sit and read a book all about a house like this.
3.) I love that the character Miryem was able to harden herself and enable herself to pull her family out of poverty as well as improve their overall situation and find creative ways all along the book to get herself out of a difficult situations.
4.) There are many cozy little touches in the book of warm food and gathering beside the fireside that make me want to dive right into the winter world that Naomi Novik painted for her readers.
5.) I know there are many more things, but I’m not trying to give too much away and maybe I’m even simply forgetting some of the other things that I loved about this book, but either way I think I’ll stop here in my review.
And with whatever books you happen to decide to pick up and read, happy readings fellow readers.