It’s Valentine’s Day. We had big plans. But then we remembered- we have 3 kids and 2 respective careers. Our romantic evening plan of dinner at our favorite NYC restaurant was scrapped for tag team extra-curricular shuttling, and maybe a quick bite of Thai take-out in between. I’ll be passed out in Sparrow’s bed by 9:30pm. We’re not even exchanging gifts this year. But I’m not disappointed. We’re in a good place. And I have another woman to thank for that- Marie Kondo.
Konmari – as she prefers to be called- moved into our home with us shortly after my closet edit (see previous post). She was the answer to so many of my problems. That nightly suffocation that occurred when I looked around the house just at the moment I thought I could finally rest or watch TV. The anxiety I felt regularly when I opened any given drawer or – god forbid-the refrigerator. The hole I was constantly climbing out of just to get my house looking less like a hurricane had swept through the inside.
As I was getting to know Konmari, I would bring up her name casually over dinner. Gull would look up suspiciously mid-bite into his turkey burger. Days later, when “but Konmari says….” escaped from my mouth, this glare turned into an eyebrow raise, and eventually a straight up eye-roll. He was tired of hearing about her. But then she invaded his sock drawer and everything changed. He welcomed her in.
Gull and Konmari got closer. He embraced her rather than pushing her away. There were little hints left around the house- or should I say, NOT left around the house. Suddenly, I could see the surface of his night table again for the first time in years. The piles of “giveaway” bags in our guest room swelled immensely, then magically disappeared. Shoes were put away, papers thrown away, everything found its place. He was changing, and I had stopped nagging. (Ok not entirely but old habits die hard, alright?)
I always joke that we need another wife in our family. Someone who doesn’t forget dentist appointments, schedules play dates, shops for birthday gifts. But setting free the things in our lives that didn’t bring us joy seemed to create more opportunities to get these things done, and less distraction via mental clutter. We are nowhere near completed with this process, but we’ve committed to this woman, and we might actually be falling in love with having her in our life.
If you think this is all crazy talk, please read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. She will make you giggle with her simplistic reasoning and her personification of your possessions, but also open your eyes to a world without the physical and emotional baggage of too much stuff. We are satisfied with this new woman in our life, but we are willing to share her with other couples too. Happy Valentines Day to the Lovebirds out there!