Friday, April 14, 2017

Watch Me KonMari! Goodbye, Zumba Clothes

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by [Kondo, Marie]  A few weeks ago, gearing up for a major cleanout of my home, I finally read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I'd heard of her book on organization before, and thought reading reviews had taught me all I'd needed to learn as far as her KonMari Method went. Oh, how wrong I was.

Even though parts of the book seem a little odd, like making sure your clothes are comfortable and happy, I admit that a lot of that talk resonated with my inner child and felt good. And the entire focus of the book was positive--on keeping what "sparks joy," which was a huge paradigm shift for me when it came to giving things away. 

Basically, the book prompts a mind shift, and one that my brain really responds to.

So I began with my bedroom. Last week, as I went through my things during spring break, I found all of the Zumba clothes I put away when I stopped instructing. Because of my slipped vertebrae, just doing Zumba hurts a lot--hip motion like that causes a bone-on-bone movement that puts me in bed for a while, so even though dance is something I have always loved, it no longer loves me back.

As I looked through the bag and plastic storage bin, buried emotions rose to the surface, and they hurt. I was surprised at just how many feelings had been stored along with cute jackets and mesh overshirts. 

I pulled out a cute fedora here, a brightly colored pair of pants there--all of it physical reminders of what I used to be able to do. Of a dream I had felt prompted to chase after--one I did chase after until I reached the end of that road, and then it was time to give up.

So I put all those clothes into bags to give away to a local church Zumba group. As I piled the bags near the door, I had to grieve. To let go of a dream that fizzled out and ultimately ended. But I realized that in order to move on, I couldn't let the clothes stare at me from the top of my closet anymore. All they were doing was causing emotional pain.

So I let them go. And I received a message this morning from the group's instructor that her class loved them, and that going through the clothes felt like Christmas. And now I can think of those clothes having new life, and the memories that were mostly painful have their edges softened by sweetness. My path turned and changed to a new one, and it's one that fits me well, unlike those too-small and unused Zumba clothes. Now I'll settle for my favorite soft, gray lounge capris that I love writing in.

By letting my Zumba clothes move on, I'm a lot more ready to move on, too.

I'll be posting more adventures on my journey to organizing my home over the summer! Marie says it should take six months, but I'm hoping to get the main areas done before school starts in the fall. And I'll post pictures--no before pics of my bedroom since it was that embarrassing, but I'll post some after pics when it's finished.