At long last, I may have reached the end of my appetite for self-help books. This is like a trip across a long lake in a Lord of the Rings setting where the other side was shrouded in mist for a very, very long time.
Husband never understood the habit, since I never employed the exercises these books suggest, in their massive, tiny type appendices. For me, curling up to a gentle voice telling me what to do while I eat a bag of popcorn is just like a day at the spa, like being under a hypnotic spell. Someone has a life philosophy, a process; someone else is the boss. (Iâ€™m like prime to be a cult member.) I find, or I found, it so profoundly relaxing. On the subject of clutter, there seems to be a gold rush in the book world lately on how to do less, eat less, have less, stress less, a topic I have been enormously invested in. I am a lazy/messy person at heart and now with little time, I live and work in a space that looks like â€œon a very special episode of Hoarders.â€ (Exaggerating, but not necessarily by much.)
These books advise to toss out everything. Anything you donâ€™t wear, anything that doesnâ€™t fit, things you havenâ€™t seen in years. For the most part, when I do plunder my things on the behalf of the Salvation Army, I do not miss or regret the dearly departed items. I canâ€™t even remember them, but there was a vintage sun dress dress I wore every day during college made of gingham fabric with a three-tier skirt paired with an ill-advised fishermanâ€™s cap that I miss. Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s in someoneâ€™s trash by now. I wore that thing in the ground. I think of that dress fondly, and the young, ridiculous, exuberant woman I was when I wore it, that I regret losing it. I have not forgotten that dress.
The most recent addition to the art of declutter is Marie Kondoâ€™s â€œThe Japanese Life-Changing Art of Tidying.â€ I reserved it from the library with salivating anticipation. I could not wait to get my paws on it. I looked up the you tube video on her special way of folding long sleeve shirts, I read in profile articles how she believes socks should not be balled up; they should lay flat, allowed to rest, in return for all the service they provide us. She is totally escalating housework to a spiritual vision quest. Itâ€™s kind of hilarious, but also the type of approach I totally eat up.
I started reading it last guys, and it was so boring, I donâ€™t think I can finish. It may possibly be the most boring book I have ever read. It totally reminds me of the Haruki Murakami books I donâ€™t like, where he goes for five pages on the mundane task of like eating spaghetti (when he makes the ordinary transcendent, his writing works; when he doesnâ€™t, itâ€™s just like reading an air humidifier manual). I also recently read â€œThe Power of Lessâ€ by Leo someone, and I mostly felt like how about making this â€œless boring, less sucky.â€ So, I will keep cleaning, keep tossing, but the phase of reading about it has wrapped.
Itâ€™s the end of an era, people. I wonder whatâ€™s next.
P.S. I lost the book the first day I got it. It’s in my house somewhere. Hard to know for sure when I have so much junk around. Husband couldn’t stop laughing.