I’ve entered a phase in life when I’m trying to live simple, save more, gain balance and improve myself. I feel like the last few years I’ve been in a school coma. I’m not sure that when I graduated, I exited the lifestyle I built. I had formed habits over the years that may have been good while in school but are bad now. My natural reaction to change is to jump all in without fully thinking through everything. I figure I can solve my way out of any hiccups. This approach has worked well for me before. Because I also have this blessing and curse of being 100% in or 100% out. Like when I decide to go on a diet – I can lose weight each week. Then when I fall out of the said diet, I am fabulous at gaining weight back each week.
I haven’t ever been good at finding a middle ground – even though I give balanced advice to friends and family – I don’t give myself the same. I think because I am a Libra, I am 100% in line with the scales, and I can see balance and I crave it. But I get rid of things too fast and later wish I hadn’t. I cut off my emotions and move on without any hesitation. I can be warm and caring, and then I can be cold too. I see a full picture of the situation and can analyze multiple outcomes based on how I choose to react the moment it’s happening, but I still make rash decisions. I know this about myself. I’m used to the extremes. But my goal is to achieve balance and live by the advice I give others.
And I finally have a plan to live balanced. My sister introduced to me to Marie Kondo. Of course, I binge watched (not very balanced, lol) the series on Netflix because I wanted to know everything Marie had to share. Just in case you haven’t experienced Marie Kondo yet, her approach to life is balanced. It’s appreciative, it’s kind, and it’s respectful to herself and others. She works with families to help them achieve organization in their homes. I love the way she introduces herself to the home and learns about the people she is working with to make their journey special.
After watching the series, I realized I needed to invite the Marie Kondo lifestyle into my life. Even though I identify myself as organized and tidy – her approach was so much deeper than that. It’s based on an appreciation of everything you own based on what sparks joy. True joy.
The concept is easy. Identify joy; you keep the item. No joy, you thank the item for what’s its added to your life and let it go. Even though the process of cleansing is supposed to take multiple days, in one day (again, I’m still working on balance) I had gone through my closet, part of our storage closet, under the bed, my nightstand, dresser, and desk. Everything that is solely mine. There were tears as I went through some of the sentimental stuff, but I struggled most when it came to books – I love to read and shared that bond with my grandparents. Some of my favorite memories are reading with them in the backyard. Anyway, at the end of the long and exhausting day, I felt amazing.
There was no guilt for what I said goodbye to because I acknowledged its contribution. Every piece of clothing in my closet is something I will wear (even if it doesn’t fit at this time), every book I have I would read again. There is nothing negative left. Everything has a purpose and positively contributes to my life.
I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that before. I always had skinny clothes in my closet that seemed to mock me every time I was getting ready. Do you know how hard it is to think positively about yourself when you’re clothing reminds you about what you once were? It sucks. There have been times in my life where I’ve shed lots of tears trying to get ready. My poor husband. Since I removed all the clothes that mocked, I realized these last few weeks there is no hesitation when getting ready. I don’t dread having to pick my outfit any longer. Plus, I’ve just felt lighter. I can’t fully explain it to anyone, but it’s there. Oddly, it’s freeing because I am proud of everything I have.
After realizing how good I felt, I started thinking about applying the concept of “spark joy” to more than just my possessions. What if you measured everything based on if it sparked joy? Does your career/company, position, friendships, current or future relationship, decisions or life spark joy? I started to dream about appreciating the things I take for granted and removing the things that cause me anxiety and angst. I realize I don’t have control over everything, but I have control over how I appreciate it. I can choose how to engage and respond to things that come my way. I’ve started to change my thought process and realized if something doesn’t spark joy, I need to figure out how to let it go. Instead of jumping in and making tons of decisions, I’m taking a minute. I’m coaching myself to take time and honestly evaluate what is joyful to me. I’m visualizing it, and I’m looking forward to feeling joy in all aspects of life, and I’m okay with saying thank you and moving on.
Check out the before and after pictures below.