I have been tidying. Not the kind where I shove things in a closet until I can deal with it later. The kind described in Marie Kondo's book, the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.
The goal is to go through every single thing in the house and ask myself if it brings me joy. When I first read about it in the innumerable book reviews published about it I thought it sounded vaguely irritating, but I kept seeing the book and hearing about the book and so I began to take it personally. Book, leave me alone! I get it, you're life-changing, how nice for you, now go away.
And then I thought, fine, I'll reserve you at the library and when I finally get you, sometime in the year 2015, I will glance at you. Maybe I'll even read you, though I'm not making any promises. Well the book came and I began reading it and I immediately started telling myself that I was perfectly tidy, and I didn't have time for this.
But then I kept reading, because I do like to finish things, and then I decided to do it. She's giving me 6 months. I like to think anything can be done in 6 months. I started a week ago and I've already dropped 23 bags off at Goodwill. I am a person who likes to think I don't have much. Clearly what I like to think and what is true are not one in the same. The stuff piles up and up and the years slide by more quickly than I imagined possible 20 years ago. Purging all these things has been joyful and energizing and honestly a bit of a relief.
So thank you very much items for all you have given me, but now it's time for you to move on.
Alyson Shelton lives with her family in Los Angeles.