I’ve been struggling with what to write about in the last two weeks. I have started 4 different blog entries during that time, and finished none. I’m hoping this effort will have a different result.
When I started out writing this blog, it was because I wanted to help people who were getting stuck on their KonMari journey into decluttering. So many of the same questions would come in our Facebook Group “KonMari Method: Life Changing Magic.” I found myself writing a lot same responses each week. I thought if I created a blog, it could serve as a reference to help people get over the humps.
While it is happily doing that, it’s also doing something else. It’s changing me.
When I found KonMari, 2-½ years ago, I was like so many other people. Every Christmas, I would buy stuff and every January, I would buy other stuff to store it in. Then I would rearrange it all. By July, I was sick of looking at it and ready to have a yard sale. I hated this scenario. It drove me nuts. I was unhappy and unfulfilled. But I was sort of stuck in a weird program loop. It was wash, rinse, and repeat. It was just what I did. It was just what “people” did. So, I didn’t let myself question it.
Like anything that inherently goes against the grain, you can only do that for so long. It’s like a weak spot in a water pipe. Someday, somehow, nature will take it’s course and the pipe will burst.
My battle with clutter, other people’s stuff, and trying to contain it, hit that bursting point in December, 2014. It led me to KonMari. With her help and that FB group, I made it through. At that time, I thought the “magic” she spoke of, was about the loss of clutter and about having space. Really though, that was just the tip of the iceberg. I had no clue about what the magic really was.
When you are on a really weedy path, it hard to see what’s ahead of you. You just stare down at your feet as you walk along, so you don’t trip. You miss a lot of what’s actually going on around you, because you are so focused on that one thing.
It’s the same with clutter. My life was on hold because of the clutter. It was all I could see and all I thought about.
Even though I was so glad to finish tidying, I went through culture shock after I decluttered. I felt a loss of self. I felt unsure about who I was or what I wanted. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought because my decluttering criteria was keeping what sparked joy, I would automatically know what I needed for myself to be happy. And that going forward would be a clear path.
It wasn’t a clear path and I didn’t know what to do next. I was like “ok, my house is tidy, now what?” When I finally got past the confusion, I realized that I needed to relearn who I was. I gave myself permission to try new things. But, it was hard to get started. And it wasn’t easy. I had to force myself at first. Having no direction was just as challenging as having all that clutter. I also knew it would take time and that I would probably have to try a lot of things that I would never do again, in order to find what I loved.
Here’s a partial list of some of the things I tried:
- Biked 1,000 miles at the gym. I took time to celebrate every 250 milestone. It took about 6 months to complete.
- Tried a 5K Color Me Rad Fun Run ( you run through paint stations to get covered in color by the time you get to the finish line).
- I volunteered to clear weeds off of the dog path at the Nevada Humane Society.
- I watered plants each week at the library.
- I took a figure drawing class.
- I started lap swimming at the gym and swam a mile twice a week.
- I embraced my age and let my hair go gray.
- I did a group art project to decorate postcards to send to people … just because.
- I took gardening classes at the Arboretum
- I volunteered to give tours to school kids visiting the Arboretum.
- I started a blog.
- I helped to rebuild our community mailboxes with our neighbor and my hubby.
- We drove 1500 miles to go to a weekend Swedish Midsummer Festival in Kansas.
I had fun doing it all. Some of those things, though, I don’t plan on doing again. Like biking a 1000 miles. I made that goal, I amazed myself that I did it, but I don’t love biking. I like biking and I may do it once in awhile, sometime, but I don’t love it. The 5K run was a fun experience, but once was enough. It didn’t spark any great joy for me.
Now swimming was different. I love swimming. I still lap swim, but now I offset it with aquasize during the summer. I feel powerful when I swim… and joyous. Definitely a keeper!
I love my gray hair. I never thought I would say that. I used to worry and fret about looking old. But it’s just me, and that’s pretty cool.
I liked the art experiments, and I have some more to try, but I haven’t settled in on anything yet. Maybe I will one day, but I don’t know for sure.
Some of the projects were one time things, like the weeding the dog path and repairing mailbox; I have fond memories of the experiences and time spent with people . So they were good to do. The Kansas trip was amazing and it was fun to learn more about my Swedish roots.
I also love my blog. I love writing. I love helping. But, I’m also noticing that what I want to write about now is changing. This brings me to my latest passion: gardening.
Ranked right up there with swimming, is my time spent at the Arboretum. I love learning about plants, guiding the tours, doing “bug” related crafts and just enjoying the gardens.
Being at the Arboretum has been like having a switch in my brain turned on. I’m looking at my own garden and life in a new way. I didn’t plan it, it just happened. If I hadn’t tried it, I wouldn’t have known. I’ve always liked gardening, but because I spent some time just focusing on it, I realized how passionate I am about it.
We just finished National Pollinator Week. I met different plant groups in the area. I learned so much about where to get native plants, and how to bring pollinators into my garden. I even dragged my hubby up to Nevada Bugs and Butterflies to see their Butterfly house. I was in awe.
My mind is now full of new possibilities and things I want to create. I can’t remember the last time I felt so inspired. The KonMari magic is flowing again.
I realize that I need to let the magic flow in my blog, too. So while I’ll still write about things pertinent to the KonMari group, it won’t be as often. I think I was feeling stuck because while KonMari has been such a huge influence on me, I’m growing and evolving. The clutter is not who I am anymore. I want to give myself free reign to write about whatever is pulling me. Right now, it’s life in the garden.
I hope I will still inspire you to love your life and create joy in your own space. I hope you have found or will find your own joyful path to take. Life is too short not to find what’s perfect for you and to enjoy it.
Thanks for reading.