Friday, January 27, 2017

Fake Outrage

It's a little late for New Year's resolutions, but I stumbled across something that has the potential to improve my life, as well as the lives of the people who must live in close proximity to me.

"Outrage is a fool’s errand, and unless you’re a fool, you needn’t carry the weight of another person’s burden. Let the fools do their own heavy lifting."

This is from Fake Outrage: Dealing with Criticism on The Minimalists blog. The irony is that I came across it on that Great Source of Outrage: Twitter. I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but fighting fire with water is pretty effective.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse

Good Night, Mr. WodehouseGood Night, Mr. Wodehouse by Faith Sullivan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So good! The story spans 60 years, but doesn't feel like a saga. Instead, it is intimate and warm with characters you love and a few that you loathe, reminiscent of the small town community that Nell Stillman lives in.
She was a home girl, warmed by the glow of lamplight, a stove boiling water for tea. To sit in the rocker and read Jane Austen or Hardy, to play checkers with Hilly—these entertainments spoke of her unsophistication, and she did not mind. To be unsophisticated was no crime if you weren't narrow, and she hoped that her reading kept her from that. Through novels you glimpsed the grim night that could eventually overtake the intolerant. (109)

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Spark Joy

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying UpSpark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondō

Verb. To konmari, to follow the process outlined in the book "The Magical Art of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo.

Nothing is more necessary in the bleak mid-winter than a little dose of joy. What better time to clean out the cobwebs than when you are stuck inside? Spring cleaning has always seemed odd to me. That's when I rush outside and don't give a hoot what my house is like anymore. But in winter, I'm face to face with all my stuff and it can get depressing.

Enter Marie Kondo. She's a tidying guru and much talked about in the media these days. People either love her system or hate it. Interestingly, many of the people who hate it are professional organizers who prefer to sell people complicated systems and more stuff to organize your stuff. When will Westerners learn? This market-driven promise of happiness will only end in tears. Get off the product treadmill and channel your inner upbeat-yet-ruthless tidier!

My favorite thing about Ms. Kondo is that she doesn't insist that her way is the only way. Imagine! In a New York Times article from July 2016:
Kondo does not feel threatened by different philosophies of organization. “I think his method is pretty great too,” she told me later. She leaves room for something that people don’t often give her credit for: that the KonMari method might not be your speed. “I think it’s good to have different types of organizing methods,” she continued, “because my method might not spark joy with some people, but his method might.”
She's confident enough in herself to leave room for others.

A few months ago, I KonMaried my clothes with the help of my daughter, who is ruthlessly unsentimental. I think she might grow up to be a KonMari consultant, if that's still a thing in five more years. Every morning when I open my closet, I am greeted by my favorites. I smile and tackle the day.

My next step is tidying my books.

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