Joy!

Say goodbye to 2017 (Good riddance?) Hello, 2018 (Here’s hoping!)

My word of the year is MINDFUL. (I thought it was going to be JOY.  Really, I thought I had this years word taken care of early.) That’s what I get for thinking I had control of this little yearly exercise; as you hear me whine every year, I don’t get to pick the word. It picks me.

MINDFUL? Certainly, it’s a word that requires a bit of thinking—I just got up for a sweater; it’s chilly here in the studio at the moment, and I know I had a sweater when I came home. And so, I looked in two spots in the house and then went and found a different one.  And I returned to sit down, and guess what I had thoughtlessly draped over the chair I was sitting on? THAT is not a mindful experience!

But, I wanted JOY!! That was the word. I knew it! I am in the middle of my first Festival of KonMari-ing my home, keeping only those things that spark JOY! Joy, as opposed to minimalism. I am somewhat wary, having read the books, to become so devoted so quickly that I toss out all my everything, simply because it doesn’t bring me JOY.

I am on a message board where others are on this journey, and I won’t lie, as many of their experiences I am envious of, there are just as many who I fear are going too gung-ho, too quickly and they may regret it.  I am aware that things are just that–THINGS. But, I have reservations when they get to the place that they are tossing memories like so much old garbage. The throwing out of letters, of PHOTOS or selling of heirlooms because they are essentially on a “Fad Diet “… What happens when they no longer are satisfied with nothing and want the old back? Yes, you can buy new everything except new memories and tangible reminders of such. (I digress…this is a word of the year post. But feel free to contact me to talk about KonMari I’ve added this hyper-link because she seems to be doing it right –this isn’t a one-weekend slog!)

But, as this word JOY has been with me while I am doing my modified exercises toward the goal not of nothing, but of only things that spark joy, the word MINDFUL popped up.  And wouldn’t leave.

And then I got this for Christmas.

MINDFUL.img_0429

I can’t throw away all my anything, because JOY to me comes from knowing I can go into a drawer and pull out that random something or other, rather than the stress and expense of having to stop by the store to buy a new one of something all the time. I find JOY not in having a butter knife that I can turn to when I have a screw that needs to be tightened, but a toolbox with a screwdriver. Yes, if I was in a pinch, a butter knife would do the trick. I don’t want to live my entire life in a pinch, however.

Mindful means that as I Kon Mari’ed all my shirts, I got rid of a lot of things that didn’t fit well, or that didn’t look good. I still have more than I NEED, of course I do. (What appealed to me at the beginning is that she doesn’t say you can only have 4 or 6 shirts, but to keep only the shirts that bring you joy, whatever the number)  I tossed, folded, organized and limited the space for the shirts. But, now, if I am MINDFUL of that drawer, and I am honest about what is in there, I am aware that I am wearing still only a fraction of what I kept. What I felt I needed.

So, MINDFUL. Doing one thing at a time, rather than multi-tasking?  Sure. That is a tough one. Trying to be present in the moment…. choosing that quilt pattern and settling down to watch it develop into a gift and thinking about how the person may react? I can do that. Not mindlessly cutting fabric because it’s there, but thinking through what I hope to accomplish, and being present for that time. Vacuuming. Hmmm….that’s a mindless activity! There’s 14-16 hours that I am awake…am I MINDFUL of the things that happen, the interactions I have, the responses I give or things that are said? We shall see!

I know you want to see them, so here are (links to all the other Words of the year with which I have indulged myself ….) Happy NEW YEAR!!!!

And this article, just found it works with the MINDFUL part of things… not so much to save or not spend, but to be aware ….

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