Does It Spark Joy?

Prepare yourself, friends. I’m at it again with organizing my life. I’m also rushing, so this will be a snippet with hope of writing a more in-depth post when I have more time.

My goal is to post at least once a week through the end of July. These posts will likely be random accounts of what currently has my attention, and I’m doing my best to write quickly, post, and edit later. I have to do this at my job pretty much all the time, but especially when I’m not getting much done, usually because of my own damn perfectionism. I’m begging for your grace and patience…

1) We are moving! Gil has been commuting an hour each way to downtown Savannah for the past two years, and we are ALL maxed out. Something has to give. Our goal is to actually be living there by the time school begins in mid-August. Last-minute fires lit under our procrastinating asses give us both a dandy shot of dopamine like nothing else, so in true Gil/Viv fashion, we believe this is undeniably a realistic goal… You should see the looks we get when our more by-the-book, conventional friends ask about our plans. Meh, it’s not the first time people haven’t known what to make of us. We still have to find a place to live AND either sell or rent out our house. Yeah… Stay tuned. Pray. Light a candle. Do what you do. We need the good vibes.

2) I am KonMari-ing my house and discovering that a terrifyingly tiny number of my possessions genuinely spark joy. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then allow me to enlighten you. I’m reading or rather listening to the audio version of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a Japanese cleaning consultant. In the small amount of research I did, I quickly learned that while many are also singing this young woman’s praises, others are pretty much crucifying her all over the Internet. She’s a big believer in purging like mad and only keeping the possessions that truly bring joy. I’m not at a point where I can follow her complete system, but I think her approach is fantastic. I can’t wait to write more about this.

3) On my month-long blogging sabbatical, I TURNED FORTY. I’m okay with it and don’t feel all that horrid as people keep reminding me of the tragedy of this particular number. I simply feel very grown up. I had the most bizarre thing happen the night of my birthday. We had dinner at our house with a few close friends and all of our children. As I was helping one friend carry her stuff out to her car, we discovered an enormous turtle in the middle of our driveway. This isn’t my first random turtle spotting. Turles/tortoises have been showing up in my life regularly for years. Stay with me… This turtle, Phineas, as I began calling him, was calmly plodding along in a straight line away from our house down the driveway. It was a beautiful evening and the mosquitoes hadn’t descended yet, so we sat down and waited for the others who were still inside. We were getting a kick out of watching this persistent creature, and I began telling her how much I love turtles and other times they’ve appeared. I loved that this one showed up out of nowhere on my FORTIETH birthday. We sat near the house, several feet behind the turtle and he/she? was walking away from us. Almost as soon as we sat, the strangest thing happened. Phineas turned around and began coming directly towards me. We joked that he was coming to wish me a happy birthday (I know this sounds completely nuts, y’all), but seriously, he walked right up to me and stopped about six inches from me and stayed there — probably thirty minutes or so. I don’t care if I do sound like a complete fruit loop. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I get chills just thinking about it. Turtles represent patience and many other things that I’ve learned in my brief Internet search. I can’t help but believe that it’s a sign that even though it doesn’t always feel like it, I’m on the right path and that it’s okay that I’m FORTY and in many ways have no clue what I want to do with my life — I’m speaking specifically in terms of my career.

Okay, gotta get my kiddos from camp. Ignore the typos. I’ll come back and link, tag, and categorize soon. Have a great weekend, my dears!

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16 thoughts on “Does It Spark Joy?

  1. I’m with you. I think turtles are the coolest things ever and have stopped traffic more than once to make a path for one to cross the road, or have run into traffic to grab a turtle and carry him/her to safety. On your birthday ? I’m with you — take it as a sign. A good sign. I visited friends in Salvadore, Brazil, who had two LIVE-IN turtles, the big kind that can’t fit under your bureau or corner cupboard. They clopped around on the tile floors all day, stopped by to see us when we sat down, and Sidney chased his girlfriend (Sarah) endlessly — the most amorous turtle you can imagine. She hid behind things sometimes to get some peace. Very entertaining! Happy Birthday! Nancy Broz

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  2. Happy belated birthday! We are officially in the same decade…and it ain’t that bad 😉

    OMG! You are KonMar-ing! Me too! Yes, the book really did change my life! Like you, I do not have the time to do it all in one sweep like she says, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t give it a try. We have so far done clothes and shoes. It really is amazing! I has changed the way we live and certainly the way we think when we are shopping for more stuff to bring in the house. Some of us in the family have a very hard time letting go of things (it is very emotional). The KonMari way has given us a gentle and very effective way to part with these items that once sparked joy but no longer do. What I love about her method is that it is so gentle and that the owner of the items is the one to decide what does and does not spark joy…so my kids do their own purging and they are not mad at me for getting rid of any of their stuff!

    KonMar-ing right before you move is, of course, the best! Imagine moving into a new home filled with only the things that bring you and your family joy (Goodness, I’m beginning to sound just like her!). I’ve been looking for a buddy to KonMari with, and so far I have gotten a lot of interest but no one has actually started. I hope you keep it up and that you find the time to keep us up to date here on the blog (or email me).

    Good luck. You have inspired me. I will now shut down this computer and continue KonMar-ing my bags…where I left off 🙂

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    • Forgive me for being SO late responding to this AWESOME comment! I love that you are also KonMar-ing! Isn’t it the best? I mean, I’m a simplifying, organizational-loving junkie, but this is different from anything I’ve ever tried. I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit since I wrote this post — well, not totally, but we’ve been busy and on the go this summer — but it’s the simplest method for parting with material possessions, and I no longer think twice about sending something on its way. A big thing for me is that I hang on to old t-shirts. Since KonMari, I’ll be folding clothes, look at a shirt and joyfully put it in a bag to donate. I will write more…eventually, especially now that I have a fellow KonMari-er. 🙂

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      • Yes, I think that has been our biggest benefit – getting rid of things is not such a painful process anymore. I have in the past filled my bookshelves with books about different ways of decluttering and organizing, but this tiny little piece of literature trumps all other volumes! In fact, I don’t even physically own the book, I have it on Audible!

        We got really busy at the end of the school year, so I had to stop also but now I’m inspired to start back up again, thanks!

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  3. I love your turtle story!!! I adore turtles for their patience and persistence and ability to protect themselves. I’m also a Maryland Terrapin so…you know…there’s that too. I have the same connection to cardinals. Seems that no matter where I am, if I need one it will fly by and I know that everything will be alright.

    Happy birthday my friend and take it from a 54 year old…you’ve got some AWESOME years coming up! Enjoy every minute of every single one.

    I wish you peace for the upcoming year.

    Sherry

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    • Very cool on the cardinals. I love them, too. AND, YOU’RE a terrapin — another reason to love them! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! I’m happy to be 40 and truly look forward to what lies ahead. Every time I get a little overwhelmed, I look at the picture of Phineas the turtle.

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  4. Happy Belated 40th! I loved reading about your attitude towards – my life got much, MUCH better in my 40’s (I’m a geezer @ 45) so I think it’s an awesome decade. Great news about your move; it will really ease things up for your husband and that will trickle down to the entire family. I too am really interested to learn more about Marie Kondo’s techniques and how they affect you so please, please write more! Finally, the turtle story was amazing and beautiful – you’ll never forget that!!! Nor will I! Glad to see you back!

    xoxoxo
    Dy

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    • Thank you! Well, I’m back but obviously not completely in the groove, yet. I’m slacking on replying to comments. Oops. I will definitely write more soon. I’m applying her method to multiple areas in my life. Deciding whether or not something sparks joy is quite helpful, and if it doesn’t, it’s most likely something that I should let go at the moment. Always good to hear from you! xoxo

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  5. I can’t wait to hear more about the purging of stuff. I have an unnatural attachment to some very strange things that I’m positive don’t bring me joy.

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    • I think you would really like this book! It’s also pretty short and gets to the point in a hurry — always a plus for me. I think lots of people have unusual attachments to things. I certainly do. I do okay with the trinkety stuff; it’s scraps of paper with quotes and books that I have a hard time tossing. I hope to write more later this week.

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  6. Happy belated birthday, my friend! I think animals show up in our lives to give us a message. I always look up the meaning of an animal totem when I see one come ’round, like your turtle. I think it sounds like the turtle is your totem. 🙂

    The minimizing woman/purge suggester came into your awareness at a great time, before a major move! I’ll send you guys some “happy, calm move” vibes!

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    • Thank you so much! Forgive me for being so late on the response. I loved your take on the turtle; it reminded me that I need to check out your other blog — this is kind of your thing. 🙂 I also believe the turtle is my totem. Thanks for the happy, calm move vibes. Keep ’em coming!!!

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