I’ve just had a wee hiatus. A fortuitous alignment of public holidays meant three days of annual leave gave me ten consecutive days off work. I did spend some of the days off doing family things with the family (as one does) but spent the rest of the time doing those pesky little (if you call five fucking hours of filing little) jobs that you blow off because they’re going to take five hours and when do you ever have five hours that you don’t have to spend at least two of them driving people to places and the rest of the time doing washing.
I also managed to watch the entire Kon Mari telly series on the Netflix before I went on leave. I didn’t know what to expect from the show, and I didn’t expect to discover what I did. As you probably remember, I did the half arsed KM business a couple of years ago, and stopped when I decided my house was tidy enough. So, when I watched the show, I think I was expecting everyone to be the full minimalist and super zen at the end of the experience. What I found was a lot more people like me.
The main thing though that I took out of watching the series, was that for the process to be a success, it had to be about “we” and not “she” (or “he”) – a joint process with everyone in the family taking their share of responsibility; and it wasn’t until that moment where responsibility became a “we” thing that something clicked. The other thing was it’s not about choosing what to discard, it’s choosing what to keep. Which is a different thing all together!
And I also discovered that my level of half arsed-ness really is/was enough.
Of course, when the series came out, all these self righteous wankers latched on to the “first world privilege” aspect where chucking stuff is the privilege of those who can afford to replace it with more stuff. While this might be true for some, eh. Not so much for me. I got rid of about a squintygazillion things, and didn’t really replace them. The process made me a much more discerning shopper, not just in relation to clothes, but to just about everything. And Lordy, the faux outrage about only keeping ten books. Now, I am a book lover. I am almost a book hoarder. I love my books. I love patting them and looking at them and reading them. BUT if I didn’t have the space that I have for books, say, I moved into a tiny house in a paddock somewhere away from everything that’s shitting me at the moment… you know, I reckon I would probably keep a couple of cook books, my recipe book, and maybe half a dozen other books that I really couldn’t live without. So, the idea of keeping only ten books is not as outrageous as it seems.
Which leads me back to the start – doing those pesky not so little jobs that I’ve been ignoring. When I did Kon Mari two or three years ago, I did in fact “do” paper, but like when you clean out the pantry and find that mysterious bottle of something that used to be green, and was past its prime five years ago… This time, I did “paper” properly. And decided I could in fact live without my mobile phone contract from 2002. And the one from 2004 and pretty much every second year between then and 2018. Much paper. Many piles. Several trees. Perhaps a forest.
And the pantry, fridge and freezer – only a bag and a half of rubbish – half used bottles of this and that, ingredients for recipes that nobody liked. It was a thing of beauty until I did the groceries. I cracked the shits when I threw out a bag full of meat from the freezer just before I had my week off. I meal plan on Saturday morning, go to the butcher and get meat, things change, meat didn’t get eaten when it was supposed to and got chucked in the freezer. And some of it shouldn’t have gone in the freezer. Nowt quite like defrosting a lump of meat that’s past it and having to re-write dinner plans on the fly. This week, I have delegated responsibility for meals to the other grown up in the family, so he’s had the fun of coming up with a delicious and nutritious meal for four people, none of whom like the same things. I’m loving it. Not sure whether the other grown up is loving it quite so much.
And I looked at clothes again. But that’s a story for another post.