Does it spark joy?
My niece, Lindsay, lives a minimalist lifestyle in a 500-square-foot studio apartment with a roommate and a cat. Her possessions are few and buying is well thought out.
Lindsay is a big fan of Maria Kondo and has read all of her books – online, of course. In case you’re not familiar with Maria Kondo, Wikipedia describes her this way: “Maria Kondo, also known as Konmari, is a Japanese organizing consultant, author, and TV show host. Kondo has written four books on organizing, which have collectively sold millions of copies around the world.”
Through Lindsay’s urging, I picked up “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Kondo’s best-seller. In her book, Kondo lays out a plan for organizing your life. And, she tells her readers and clients that as they begin to make decisions about what to keep and what to toss, they ask this question – “Does it spark my joy?”
So, this past weekend, I decided to clean out my bedroom, including the closet. Not just the regular dust and vacuum clean, but REALLY cleaning. Tossing some “stuff” was easy: The cards from my Golden Jubilee (two-and-a-half years ago!), which somehow got put into a bag to reread later; the sweater that shrunk after I left in the dryer for way too long; and pens that had run out of ink long ago.
When it came to other things, a different challenge presented itself. But, I was prepared. All I needed to do was ask the question, “Does it spark my joy?”
As it turned out, it just didn’t work for me. Perhaps it’s because we’re in the midst of one of the greatest crises of our time, or maybe it’s because my own perspective on life has changed through the years. Nonetheless, I’d ask the question on items over and over again and the answer was usually the same … “Does it spark my joy?” No, not really.
Here’s what I know:
What sparks my joy …
- People in my life who love me despite my flaws,
- The fact that family and friends are staying healthy,
- That my SP Community members have thus far been spared of COVID-19,
- My nephew Adam, who is working 17-hour days, seven days a week to make ventilators for the state of Massachusetts,
- The redbud trees in bloom on our street,
- The stories of kindness that end the nightly news, and
- The weekly Saturday night zoom “cocktail parties” with my family.
My joy is sparked …
- When a call comes from a family member or friend who just wants to say hi,
- When the sun is shining, as it is today,
- When I have some time to make cards or jewelry, and
- When I spend some time in reflective quiet.
Well, the bedroom got cleaned; the closet too. And, I must admit, there was a good feeling by the end of the day … joy?