The Japanese have a proverb “The more you have, the heavier your burdens will be” . Sounds like the life of the average American female, doesn’t it? Our lives are so full of stuff it weighs us down until one of a few things happen.
- We get physically ill
- We have the “nervous breakdown”
- We buy a copy of Eat, Pray, Love to read on the plane to Italy …so long suckas!
Nothin’ good happens from raising our quotient of burdens. Jobs, spouses, children, aging parents, civic groups, church groups, the neighborhood watch, book club – these are all great things but without boundaries they become BURDENS.
Dr. B’s KonMari the Crap Outta your life Tip #1 – “No Boundaries turn Blessings to Burdens”
The first step in the KonMari the Crap Outta Your Life is to pick “sections” of your life to start tidying up. And, don’t freak out, I’m not telling you to quit your job or run off with the UPS guy – I’m telling you to learn to jettison the parts of each section of your life that don’t “spark joy” – or that you don’t need to, like, pay the bills and stuff.
According to tidy guru, Marie Kondo, finding what “Sparks Joy” in your life is the key to permanently tidying up. It takes some discernment but Marie promises, and so do I, that with some practice, finding what sparks joy in our life will become easier and easier.
So, let’s break down our life into sections
- Day-To-Day “Stuff”
- Extended Family
Activities / Obligations
Let’s use the Activities and Obligations as our first example. Let’s say you are on the PTA, Volunteer at church, host the monthly book club, and Head the Boosters at school. Let’s also say that in any given week you are out of the house 5 hours on your activities. Let’s make another assumption that you are stressed with all the planning that has to happen for these activities to take place.
Write them all down, all your activities that don’t fall into the Household management, Family, or Work categories. Part of the KonMari Method that we are modeling is to tackle one area and lay all the “stuff” that area contains out on the table. Since it might be hard to wrangle the PTA Moms, Soccer team, Pastor’s wife and your entire book club onto your living room floor at one time, to sort through the “keepers”, let’s write it all down instead, OK?
Now that you have made a complete list of all of them, you’ll need to really focus on what you like, or what Sparks Joy. Do you love the Book Club but hate the prep it takes to host it in your home every month? Are you tired of the leadership role at Boosters and just want to sell hotdogs at the games? Has your volunteer work at church turned into a part-time job?
It’s OK to say No or to tap out on some things that aren’t Sparking Joy. If you are REALLY overburdened in this area, I’ll hazard a guess that you are everyone’s “go to” whenever a need must get met you are in position one in the Rolodex – right?
After you tidy up this area by paring down the things that don’t “Spark Joy” you have to break the cycle in the future too. So the next time you get the midnight PTA call for 10 dozen cupcakes due in the morning, you can easily discern that NO joy will be sparked from this and you can say – Sorry, no can do!” Take some time over the next week to write down all of the rest of your stuff from the categories I mentioned. Start thinking about each subsection and what Sparks Joy for you and what doesn’t. Start culling those joyless tasks and lifting your day to day burdens. Let me know on Facebook or in the comments how this preliminary “step” in the KonMari Method the Crap Out Of Your Life is going!