Marie Kondo’s Magical Tidying Irks Me

Pixabay. Stevepb. Free for comm use; no attrib. req'd

There’s something about Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking-tidying-up success that irks me. 

Maybe it’s that she’s making a fortune as a Tidying Coach, a job that didn’t exist when I was younger. I might’ve embraced it, if it had, given my childhood tidying tendencies.

Maybe it’s because tidying up seems like something we should’ve learned along the hallways of life. Ok, maybe not joyfully, but still. Some adult in our life should’ve set some tidying standard for us to live up to so we could learn our tidying skills along the way.

Or maybe her approach reminds me of ambivalence around my own stuff. Given a society that encourages getting ever more, acquiring is supposed to be good.  And yet, have you ever felt confused overwhelm as stuff stacks up in closets, cupboards and garages? If buying stuff is supposed to feel good, why does being surrounded by all our stuff sometimes feel like crap?

Sometimes I think we like to buy more than necessarily own, but that’s just me.

When Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book came out in 2011, the desire to declutter and organize wasn’t a new idea. There are bookshelves full on the subject, published over decades. Given that the theme and suggested solutions survive and thrive, I imagine we hope there’s a magic-bean solution to dealing with our stuff. We’re sure the next idea will be the path to the promised land.

Kondo’s book was the next idea. It hit at the perfect storm of opportunity: boomers getting older—facing their own and aging parents’ stuff—while simultaneously realizing their kids don’t want multiple-generations of accumulated stuff. Now what.

Now what is Marie Kondo: diminutive, cute, Japanese-speaking with an element of the exotic. She offers magic and joy and life changing results. How could we not fall in love this new idea? We are sure—absolutely positive—that this system—this approach from another culture, imbued with an eastern religion promise—will solve our clutter and disorganization problems. 

It could become our new faith.

And it’s easy, too, right? We love easy.  Ask the question: “does this spark joy?” Yes? It stays, No? It goes.

After we spend half a lifetime acquiring stuff, Marie Kondo promises to help us get rid of it. Not only easily and without feeling guilty, but—hallelujah—with joy!  We can be redeemed from our sins of overconsumption.  We can continue to enjoy acquiring stuff, knowing Kondo will help us enjoy getting rid of it.

No wonder she irks western-religion-raised me.  Where’s the guilt in that?

Photo source: stevepb on Pixabay


Rapid Rabbiting on October 1st

Pixabay: Alexas_Fotos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

If you’re a Rapid Rabbiter, we’re coming up to another first-of-the-month: October 1.

The day on which to practice the good-luck-rabbit-ritual of saying Rapid Rabbit before anything else.

Or Rabbit Rabbit.

Or Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit. 

It depends on who you ask.

My advice? Just pick one and stick with it.

And have fun.

Happy October everyone.

Photo source: Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

Rapid Rabbiting on January 1st

Pixabay: Alexas_Fotos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

If you’re a Rapid Rabbiter, I encourage you to try and remember to do it on January 1st. That way, if you miss other months, you’ve got the year covered with your good luck charm.

At least, that’s my story.

Even if my dad disagrees.

Happy New Year everyone.

Photo source: Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

My Blog and I are Fighting Today

My blog and I have been fighting today. Ok, maybe just not cooperating. I’ve taken a stab at two different posts, and it ain’t happening. I’m bailing on both. I’ll come back to them in a day or so and see if I can herd some cogent thoughts and sentences together. Or start something new.

In the meantime, here’s a quote from my Headspace meditation app:

Headspace app

Maybe I’m obsessing or resisting too much.

Hope things are going easier for you! 😊

 

Photo source: Headspace


 

Rapid Rabbit Reminder!

Pixabay: Alexas_Fotos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

I forgot to say Rapid Rabbit on April 1st.  I remembered on May 1st. And I’m reminding myself—and you!—tonight to say it on August 1st.

If you know nothing about Rapid Rabbit or Rabbit Rabbit, read my prior posts.

Or just know this: saying Rabbit Rabbit first thing on the first of the month will, according to lore and legend, bring you luck. It certainly brings me a morning smile.

If you forget, this blogger shares some ways to set things right.

 

Photo source: Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay


 

Corn-on-the-Cob: Summer or Year-Round Food?

Pixabay: 1195798. Free for Commercial use; no attribution requiredWhy do I expect—and want—to eat corn-on-the-cob only during summer?

I suspect it’s because, growing up on the east coast, that’s when it was available. It was grown locally and sold at roadside stands. We’d grill up burgers, cut some summer tomatoes, shuck and boil a dozen ears of corn, slather on the butter and salt, and have ourselves an outdoor feast.

I didn’t realize how intimately I associate corn-on-the-cob only with summer until this year, when corn started to show up in the grocery stores. I never think about corn-on-the-cob except in the summer. I don’t crave it in the winter. I don’t look for it in the spring.

Then it struck me: I don’t want to be able to buy corn-on-the-cob during any other time of year.

For me, corn-on-the-cob is a summer food, like fresh peaches and real tomatoes, that only taste good when grown locally and seasonally. It’s a pleasure to be savored; appreciated partially because of its limited availability.

If corn-on-the-cob was suddenly available year-round, I suspect it would imitate winter-grown tomatoes: looks good on the outside, but taste-less on the inside.

Then I wondered, why isn’t corn-on-the-cob sold year-round?

Every other type of produce seems to be sold year-round, grown in another country and shipped to the U.S. And with corn, it doesn’t even need to be imported; we already grow a ton of it in the U.S.  Yes, most of it is used for other purposes, but…still.

So, given it’s already being grown, why isn’t corn-on-the-cob sold year-round?

Or maybe it is? And I have a blind spot and simply don’t see it in the store because I don’t want to see it?

(If so, I’m sure it’s my only blind spot 😊)

How ‘bout it.

Corn-on-the-cob: year-round or seasonal?

 

Photo source: 1195798 on Pixabay


 

Black Dog

Years ago, driving down a dark road with my young daughter, we came upon a black dog in the middle of the road.

An utterance arose from within, without invitation. Sometimes life delivers succinct messages—no needless words—that remain permanently branded in our brains.

Pixabay: Pexels. Free for commercial use; no attribution required

Black dog.

In road.

At night.

Not good.

 

I tensed; swerved.

And missed it.

 

Photo source: Pexels on Pixabay


 

This is Not Good

Pixabay: OpenClipart-Vectors. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.My dad told me a story from his youth about hitting a skunk at night while driving his father’s car. When he got home and climbed out of the car, the skunk smell was strong. He smelled of skunk. He knew his mother would ask questions.

This is not good, he thought.

I’ve had that same thought; said the same thing when something went wrong: This is not good.

Like my dad, I don’t say, this is bad.

Why is that?

This is bad is shorter. To the point. Clear. Definitive. The opposite of not good is bad. Right?

But this is bad somehow sounds worse.  There’s good and there’s bad and this is bad is clearly bad.

This is not good subtly leaves open possibilities other than bad. Maybe this thing that is not good is actually…maybe…great? Not good slows down thinking; interrupts a clear and definitive conclusion of bad.

It gives some wiggle room; buys some time with the inner Judge.

Maybe that sounds like fuzzy logic, but it works for rice cookers, so I’ll take it.

And…I never learned how the skunk story ended.

But my dad survived.

 

Photo source: OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay


 

Rapid Rabbit: May Will be Lucky

Pixabay: Alexas_Fotos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

I forgot to say it on April 1st. But I successfully remembered to say Rapid Rabbit this morning; along with Rabbit Rabbit. Covered the bases. May will be lucky.

If you forgot this morning, this, it says, will help you set things right. And give you a cute baby bunny video, too.

Happy May Day!!

 

Photo source: Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay


 

A Toilet Paper Scarcity Story

Pixabay: stevepb. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.Two squares of toilet paper. That was it; two squares. There are some things you don’t realize you take for granted until you can’t.

I was visiting my daughter in Ecuador and went to use a public bathroom. A woman at the entrance took my coin and handed me two squares of T.P. That was my allotment, regardless of what nature delivered.

I suddenly couldn’t take T.P. for granted; not on this vacation. After that first experience—and confirmation by my daughter that T.P. was scarce here—I took to glomming onto any extra toilet-paper-type products whenever I came by them. A restaurant that offered paper napkins? Grab some. A grocery store that sold rolls of T.P.? Buy some.

It became standard operating procedure to try and keep extra paper in my pocket, to supplement that offered by the public facility. Still, even trying to plan, I’d hit periods where my pockets were empty as I went in search of a public bathroom, leaving me nervous as I approached. I’m traveling in a foreign country; my plumbing isn’t working so great. Am I about to enter a stall with a hearty supply of T.P. or only have two squares with which to work?

Sure, I’ve experienced that moment of panic when, mid-movement in a public bathroom, I suddenly realized there was no T.P. It’s a sucky feeling, but infrequent back home, and there’s often someone in the next stall who will willingly pass you some, because, well, there’s plenty of it.

Not in Ecuador. This was not something there was plenty of. Up until that moment I didn’t really think too much about T.P. If I did, it was a throw-away necessity, a plentiful household commodity.

Now? Now, I’m deeply grateful that I have plenty of T.P. in my life. As much as my little butt desires.

 

Photo source: stevepb on Pixabay


 

Rabbit Update

Pixabay: Alexas_Fotos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.After writing about the Rabbit Prophecy on March 31st, and putting a note by my clock-radio (a permitted reminder), I forgot to say Rabbit Rabbit on April 1st.

“Are you awake?” Bubba asked that morning at 2 a.m.  “Yeah,” I answered.

With that exchange, April’s good-luck rabbit-fortunes were derailed.

For these situations, should anyone ask, I have a trump card. I said Rapid Rabbit on January 1st, which covers the year. It’s my insurance policy.

“No, you have to say it each month for it to count,” my dad argues.

It turns out my dad also disagrees with my conclusion that Rabbit Rabbit was correct.

“No, no, no,” he said, after reading my blog and the Wikipedia post. “I don’t care what the internet says. It’s Rapid Rabbit. That’s how your mother and I always did it. That’s how we taught you.”

Rapid Rabbit was the way I always said it, and according to dad, was correct.

My sister had learned Rabbit Rabbit, and when she did her on-line sleuthing, that was correct.

We were both right, by different sources.

I’m glad to get this resolved. Again.

I still have to remember to do this the first of the month. But my options have expanded. Now, I’m confident the rabbit wand can be waved many ways.

One Rabbit, Two Rabbits, Three Rabbits, four.

Rapid Rabbit, Lapin Rabbit, It’s all rabbit lore.

 

Photo source: Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay


 

Rapid, Rabbit Rabbit

Pixabay: Alexas_Fotos. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.I don’t consider myself superstitious. Until I am. Then I do various things to avoid jinxing myself: knock on wood; keep umbrellas closed indoors; sidestep walking beneath a ladder.

I also, on the first of a month, start the day off with the words “Rapid Rabbit.”

Talking with my sister today, she reminded me that tomorrow is “Rabbit Rabbit” day.

“Wait, did you say Rabid Rabbit?” I asked her.

Continue reading “Rapid, Rabbit Rabbit”

It Wasn’t Just an Avocado

120_Blogging-Mindfulness2

It wasn’t just an avocado. It was an instant of attentiveness, of being awake to a moment in life I usually sleep through. Were I not blogging, I likely would’ve slept through that moment. Instead, I experienced avocado-man with an awareness that saw his small act as something bigger.

As if in slo-mo, I fully took it in.

That’s been a wonderfully, unexpected benefit of blogging.

 

Photo source: coyot on Pixabay


 

Yes, We Have No Avocados

Pixabay: ponce_photography. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

A fellow ran down the sidewalk from Whole Foods, an avocado in his hand. I was in line at a sidewalk sandwich spot off our town square. Avocado-man popped behind the sandwich counter, cut the fruit open, sliced it, and laid it perfectly onto a partially-made sandwich, which he handed to the man in front of me.

Wow, I thought. What a great customer experience.

Can you imagine! I picture him telling his friends. The guy ran over to Whole Foods to get an avocado. For my sandwich!

And his friends would shake their heads in disbelief.

As my friends shake their heads in disbelief when I tell them how things went awry during my birthday outing.  The birthday without clean coffee cups, bananas or bread. And with no one going out of their way to deliver any of them for me.

That customer and I; we each had stories to tell.

 

Photo source: ponce_photography on Pixabay

I wasn’t sure if avocados were fruits or veggies; they’re a fruit. Here’s the scoop from the California Avocado Commission.


 

A Different Puzzle

Walk the goats

I had 1,000 pieces to choose from.

I would put my puzzle together. I would include straight border edges.

If I couldn’t do it following instructions, I could do it my way. It didn’t matter if all 1,000 pieces were there. I was only going to use thirty-one of them. I’d make them fit.

Sometimes you have to bend rules; think outside the box; stretch boundaries; break clichés.

Sometimes you have to own the puzzle.

I owned it.

 

Photo source: Walk the Goats


 

Contemporary Avarice

115_ContemporaryAvarice_3-13-19

An obsession with gold; a craving for it.

Midas—a man of great wealth—loved his daughter, his rose garden, and gold. Certain that more gold would bring more happiness, he was granted his wish that everything he touched would turn to gold. He made a critical miscalculation however: how would it play out at meal time? Or when he hugged his daughter?

He got his wish. And launched his nightmare.

Fast forward to today.  To a world filled with people of great wealth; who love their children. And who, based on the current college admissions scandal, have twisted ideas about what’s important in life.

We’ve created a world where a diploma—issued in limited quantities by elite, Ivy League colleges—is today’s contemporary gold.

This golden diploma is obsessed over. Parents want their children to have it, convinced it will guarantee success; and success will, what, breed happiness?

At least King Midas earned his golden wish by doing a kindness for the servant of a god. He may have made a bad choice in how he spent his wish, but at least he didn’t bribe his way to it.

Not so with today’s parents of wealth who decided to buy their kids’ entrance into elite universities and give them a chance to get that coveted golden diploma. Those parents chose to cheat the system through bribery and lies. I wonder if they planned to continue the deceit and buy good grades for their kids after they got admitted.

The thing is, lies are like the golden touch. They both suggest you’ll get what you want. Midas would get his beloved gold. Parents would get their children into sought-after colleges.

But in the end, the golden touch and lies both destroy; they destroy the person employing them, and their loved ones.

 

Photo source: 3602209 on Pixabay


 

F’ing Bees

114_Fing-Bees“Look!” I said to Bubba. “It’s spring! The rosemary bush is covered with bees, busy gathering pollen. Look at them all.”

Bubba glanced up. “You’re right, there are a bunch of bees.”

“Just think,” I continued. “All those lovely girl bees; working away. Meanwhile, the guys are back at the hive, smoking cigars, hoping they get lucky and get to f*ck the Queen. And then die.”

 

Photo source: Walk the Goats

(P.S. I know that’s not rosemary; it’s an artichoke flower.)