Packing up someone else’s things is never fun… and it hurts even more when the circumstances are like this.
My wife introduced me to the “Kon Mari” method of organizing and discarding clutter, back when we first became a couple. We’ve tried it… she tried forcing me to do it a couple of times (much to my chagrin), and while I wanted to have a less cluttered life, it was never a huge priority for me. It was a chore for me, instead of a potentially fun activity to do together.
Recently I’ve watched a few YouTube videos about (for lack of a better phrase) “getting your shit together”. I’m in desperate need, obviously, and there’s apparently a direct connection between cleaning up your environment, and cleaning up your mind.
….which is great and all, except I’m finally packing up all of her belongings, to ship them to her. I’m sorting through everything of ours… everything mixed together, everything shared, and everything all over the place. This “packing of things” is what started my whole process of grief and wanting to change.
The first step in the KonMari Method is to imagine your ideal lifestyle. If you’re serious about tidying in a way that will change your life forever, this is the most important step – it cannot be skipped.
Every item I see has triggered a memory.
Every memory is my “ideal lifestyle”.
I am losing that ideal with every item packed – the KonMari method is working in reverse for me right now.
How to do it:
- Pick up each item one at a time.
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy – you should feel a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising.
- If it does, keep it!
- If it doesn’t, let it go with gratitude.
I’m picking up each item, and the memories associated with that item start flooding back to me. Some are good memories – buying an item together and using it, or giving and receiving gifts, or seeing her get all giddy when a new makeup palette arrives in the mail…. and some aren’t so great. Some items bring back shame, because of fights or resentment they caused… and each time it was a dumb or petty thing, that I’d immediately take back if given the chance.
The things that are sparking joy…. I have to let them go. I have to pack them up and send them away to her. The stuff that remains (my stuff) can burn, for all I care. And each thing packed…. lets her get a little further away from me. The great irony is that in order to be the man that will take care of these things responsibly… the very man that she wanted me to be for so long… is the very type of man that would let her go in this way.
And I’m trying…. I’m trying to be that man. But it’s so hard; every cell in my body wants to refuse this task. Even that sentence reminds me of a “bodies” exhibit we went to…..*Sigh*….. it’s difficult to get away from the constant reminders.
I ran only one mile yesterday afternoon – only had to sprint a few times during it. Had to buy new running shoes, too… the ones I’ve been using are 7+ years old now, and falling apart.
I went 3+ days without smoking at all…. and then bummed one from someone at work today. It was disgusting…. so that’s cool. I’m still chewing the gum, and today I was regularly checking my pockets for a lighter (out of habit), but I think I can confidently say that I won’t be smoking any more. That moment of relapse/weakness helped remind me that I’m making progress.
And progress will continue, despite the breakdowns. I will be ok. There will be more breakdowns, more panic attacks, more crying, more running, and more struggles….. but I will ok. Maybe sometime soon there will be another spark of joy.