by Jon Connery
Short article about finding things in life that spark joy. Inspired by Marie Kondo.
|Recent Netflix series "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" has taken the userbase of the ubiquitous streaming service by storm. In the words of the konmari website, "In the words of The Atlantic, "The organizational guru's new Netflix series isn't about judgement, decor, or the spectacle of mess. It's about cultivating empathy for the things that surround us."" To illustrate this, Marie Kondo has a signature phrase that has become prevalent throughout the show: "Does it spark joy?" or "If it does not spark joy when you hold it, throw it away." To spark joy, to feel that bliss when you have something on your mind. How rare and how beautiful is that really? One moment you find a pile of magazines that you should throw away, but under it, a fresh tea bag that reminds you of a simpler time. The things we hold aren't the only things that spark joy when we hold them, but the memories that have possessed their souls.
The world is a constant deluge of change, effervescent at one moment, ephemeral the other. My generation knows this best, growing up with a cassette tape in one hand, but a Spotify subscription in the other. When the time comes, we will be equipped to adapt, because that is what we do best. But that doesn't mean we can't stay grounded or get attached; there is a constant balancing beam, a drop of water enough to tip it. Time must move forward, and we with it. Much like the clutter that accumulates in the homes Marie Kondo helps clean, clutter gets into our lives. They may not always be staring us right in the face. They may be hidden in the form of a song that you used to listen to someone. You'll hear this sometimes being called baggage or some other metaphor, but whatever it is, it has to be tidied up. To take a hard look at not the old magazines in your room, but how you spend your day and what you spend your time thinking about, is how you find the clutter in your life. Once you've found it, the infamous question comes into play: "Does it spark joy?" Don't think about it, because when I say spark, you shouldn't have to. Perhaps it's a dream of one day becoming an actor that you've had your whole life, or finally getting the home you've always wanted with a yard and three kids. Whatever it is, when you think of it, if it sparks joy, you should know. Honestly, that's the easy part, because the things that don't spark joy. The challenge is figuring out what to do with them. The fact that you're probably going to be alone again for Valen- I mean, Single's Awareness Day? You could simply throw it out, but it'll definitely come back like the mold in the corner. Alternatively, you can recycle. Channel those feelings into something else like having a Bro-lentine's Day. Unfortunately, not all things can be recycled. As I said before, we as people get attached and sometimes, we don't want to change because we don't want to let go.
Now kids, I'm not going to give you some magic formula on how to let go of the hard things in life. When it's something that we hold dearly or have grown used to having, it becomes etched into our skin, branding us. By no means, does this spark joy, in fact it brings it to a frozen standstill like a numbing blizzard. Literally any year of my life, if you had asked me what my favourite season was, I would have, without any hesitation, said winter. The snow, the cold air, the frost, it enveloped me and made me stronger. It may take days, weeks, or months, but one day you realise that what really makes you stronger is feeling free. Whether its freed from memories that leave behind scars to remind you, or waking up and smiling as you cycle to class. This year for the first time ever, my favourite season is Spring. Spring is the end of the healing process and the beginning of starting anew. Spring is the time to find the things that spark joy to replace the clutter. Though we may say, thanks for the memories, even though they weren't so great, Spring reminds us that a new story is ready to begin and I hope your story sparks joy.