It’s been so long since my last confession, I mean blogpost, that I managed to log myself out and forget my password. Naturally I feel ghastly for having set you all adrift and I imagine you are also suffering varying degrees of separation anxiety. But in my defense, life has been all-consuming. Which is probably a good thing, because it made me stop and over-analyse how defining yourself as one thing can be a bit, well, limiting.
Even looking at my blog posts – they’re all about writing, writing, writing. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it’s probably why I needed a break. Every post had to mean something. Convey some sort of message or explore yet another dark and dusty corner of the writer’s psyche. Well, I’m over it! And none too soon, if you ask me. Because when I think about it, people are interested in people, not moralising or weekly how to’s.
So, here’s to my first blog that isn’t really about anything (except of course it will be about something because I can’t go completely cold turkey). I’ve been doing work on my house – by which I mean I’ve been watching other people do work on my house and coming up with ever more creative ways to look as though I’m helping. I find wandering through rooms carrying things works. If you’re carrying something somewhere, you’re obvs busy.
I finally succumbed to the phenomenon that is Marie Kondo. Now, when I say succumbed, what I really mean is I watched one, excruciatingly long episode on Netflix with an excruciating couple in America. To my chagrin, the program lavished most of it’s focus on the couple and their relationship (did I mention how excruciating they were?) so I may have zoned out a few times. But I enjoyed Kondo’s enthusiasm for decluttering the mountain of ‘stuff’ we accumulate, especially in Western societies, thanks to unfettered capitalism and conspicuous consumerism. Seeing the couple pile all of their clothes on the bed was actually kind of sickening. It made me realise what an addiction it is, and reminded me of those weight loss shows where they would pile up all the food you’d eaten in a week – forcing you to confront your uncomfortable reality. But I guess acknowledging the problem is the first step towards doing something to free yourself of it. See? I knew I’d get a teachable moment in here somewhere!
So what does all this have to do with me? Well, reader, it turns out I have, um, a bit of clutter myself. I’m not intentionally untidy (ahem) but I suppose I have more of a laid back attitude to doing housework. Like, when I think about doing housework, I just lay back and wait till the thought passes. I think I suffer from Not-Putting-Things-Away-itis. And so I suddenly realised, everything had to go. All this crap I’ve been holding onto. Bits and bobs. What the fuck are they and why do we have to house these non-rent-paying, useless objects? Is it because we don’t want to offend Aunt Bridget who bought that weird ornament as a moving in gift? She hasn’t been since, but it stands ready, lest she takes a funny turn and rings the doorbell. Loose change – Christ! They really need to stop loading us down with this coppery shit. Cushions. My name is Evie and I have a serious cushion problem. In fact, I don’t even think it’s my fault. They’ve been multiplying – literally shagging each other and having baby cushions – behind my back. Ditto for the gym balls. I somehow have three of the buggers and last time I checked, I only have one bum.
So a skip arrived (the first of many, hopefully) and I began the process of getting this crap the hell out of my life. But I’ve only just started – I won’t stop until my entire house resembles a Buddhist monk’s cell. Not that I’ve really been to one of those, but I imagine they’re not crammed with bills dating back to 2008. Do they even pay bills? It seems we could learn a lot from Eastern culture. Although they’re hardly immune to the shopping bug either, but there is something very alluring about their traditions around rituals and living simply.
I think the one thing we are all searching for is joy and there are companies clambering over themselves to try and give it to you. At a price. And I’m starting to wonder if the price isn’t just what you pay at the till. In fact, I think ‘stuff’ might be really harmful – it’s definitely harming the environment, when you think of all the plastic crap we jettison into our oceans. We are suffocating our marine life with our endless consumption and desire for more and more stuff. I’m reading a book at the moment called The Growth Delusion and it’s the first time I’ve really heard anyone ask the question, why is growth always considered a good thing? We hear so much about economic growth, as if it is the holy grail, but how much growth can one planet sustain?
Anyway, that’s where I’m at right now. Ditching all the superfluous crap in my life, physical and metaphorical. And just like the show on Netflix, it’s been both painful and cathartic. It also became clear that my home is an extension of me because I felt really exposed watching all my junk fill the skip, but also wildly liberated. Of course, this will probably all be forgotten in a few months and I’ll be back to tripping over the entirely necessary eight pairs of ballet pumps in varying shades of nude, while trying to do a dance of the seven veils with the seventy million scarves I own (AND DID NOT CULL! HAHAHAHA!! Take that Kondo). But for now, it feels important and it feels good.
So how about you, my long suffering friends…. Any craic?