Ever see or hear something that just totally blows your mind in a fundamental way? A show, a book, a random quote, comment or philosophy? Just something that affects your whole view about a thing? Most times you come across it in passing. I've been developing this mission, if you will, to find epiphanies and new wisdom. Since deciding to keep my mind's eye open to new perspectives, I find them all the time now. Each new thought guides me, hopefully, to a better version of myself. My recent inspirations have been three great shows.
The first show is one being meme’d to death by everyone, including company social media accounts: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Mind you, I'd heard of her several years ago from an online acquaintance who went thru the whole reorganization process herself. I suppose seeing it in practice and witnessing Marie's obvious joy for tidying is more impactful than hearing about the books. Her mission to only keep things in your life that bring you joy coincides with my own personal journey to find a source of joy every day, no matter how difficult life gets. Now add to that, binge-watching my second show, Hoarding: Buried Alive. This show addresses why people hoard and the psychological effects of both the hoarding and the changes needed to clean out their homes and maintain their spaces without relapsing. Why people collect things, keep things and accept living in environments no living thing should be subjected to, is fascinating and makes you look at why we hold onto the things we do.
Personally, I realized there was a point in my life when I had a bit of a hoarding mentality. Most hoarders have depression, anxiety and have sustained some trauma they haven't been able to deal with. Someone once said that your home or space reflects one's state of mind. Makes sense; mine is barely organized chaos. I found a reason, a use for every damn thing. When there were turning points in my life, I purged items from my home and threw myself into reorganizing. Did so more than once sometimes because the system couldn't be maintained and I had to try something different.
This brings me to the third show, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. This isn't Minimalism as an aesthetic, but as a way of simplifying our lives to what's really important. Ever notice how we have a house full of crap, storage units, full basements, attics and garages; but when we go on vacation, we are perfectly content in a 24 foot square hotel room with just a suitcase or two of items? We're told we need more, More, MORE! by media, our culture.. But... do we really?! The people who began practicing minimalism were people who had achieved the American Dream of career, big house, cars and all the trappings of wealth; but they weren't happy. In fact, maintaining it all was a burden. By simplifying, they were able to distill how they lived to what was most important and truly made them happy.
So what did I glean from all this?
There are things I have kept out of sentiment, guilt (like in the case of gifts), out of fear of being without if I come to need it, because more is better, because I worked for it, because maybe it'll fit again one day, out of nostalgia. I blamed all the clutter on not having enough storage and everyone slacking on keeping things organized when I probably just have too much stuff (Though I really do have a storage shortage... what I'd give for a few decent size closets and vertical storage!)
My anxiety and depression has driven many of my purchases, even though I shop frugally (Go Dollar Tree and CVS ExtraBucks!). They, also, drive my fear to get rid of things I may need or use and my unwillingness to add to our ever-growing trash heaps when someone could use those items; especially those in need. I'm not a devout environmentalist but I do believe in repurposing and upcycling things. I grew up on the poor side so that saving and reusing mentality is an ingrained mindset. I realized there are alot of things I've kept because they were utilitarian or they happen to fit, not because I really loved and enjoyed them. Most of my wardrobe and belongings are second-hand; not things I chose. Or they are items I settled on because of budget constraints, size restrictions, rush purchases, availability, etc.. The things that bring me joy are scattered among the detritus of daily living; some of which are unusable at this time. I need more joy things! But I need less stuff.
If you had to evacuate your house, what are the things you'd save? Those and your loved ones are the most important things in your life. Remember, you need widows but you don't necessarily need curtains; they're just nice to have. Treat your things like food shopping. You can stock your fridge full of food that's filling or nutritious, but if you don't enjoy eating it, why buy it? Keep the "delicious" in your life!
So I encourage you to check out those shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime and, hopefully, you'll bring a little more joy into your quality of life. ¡Hasta luego!