August Ruminations

Someone once said that maturity has nothing to do with age. I am sure they were famous. From the outside looking in, I seem mature (caveat: until I open my mouth); but from the inside looking out I am still that little girl struggling with life—the ups and downs but mostly the sideways. By the way, have you ever noticed that a lot of life is sideways—not really a roller coaster but instead one of those swings that go round and round, faster and faster, then gradually slow to a halt? Anyway, I digress (there is such freedom in digression—not having to stay on topic, no particular beginning, middle or end; no particular point to make; no, what is that word I find intriguing but can never remember—denouement—or proper conclusion).

Anyway, back to the topic at hand—maturity. Stick with me here—I am sure I have a point to make. With maturity, comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes responsibility and sensibleness. I really would not mind being looked on as wise, but with responsibility comes a heavy load. And we all bear it—whether, like me you walk into it unaware, or you jog into it fully cognisant of your role. And there is nothing wrong with being sensible–although it can limit you. When you are sensible (sane, rationale, practical, no-nonsense) you tend to look at all sides of an issue, then discard the issue because it is neither judicious nor prudent. And you miss a chance, an opportunity, a risk. I am all for good decisions—but those decisions should have a soupcon of danger—not to life and limb, but a respite from the safe and secure.

Do not get me wrong—safety and security are paramount to a happy life—but a little risk mixed in makes life that much more interesting. (Interesting is a word many people use when they do not know how to respond. For example when you ask someone if they like your dress, and they reply that it is interesting, be aware that they do not like your dress.) Interesting in the context of this rambling essay means stimulating, thought-provoking, and attention-grabbing, not curious or remarkable. (Remarkable is another one of those words that can be used when you need a word that is not outwardly insulting—as in “that is a remarkable dress”—when the underlying thought is—“I would not be caught dead in that dress.”)

My new favourite book is called “the life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo . (It is quite simply my new favourite book because it is the one I am currently reading—it does not take much to become my new favourite book). Marie is Japanese, and the book is subtitled “the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.” Now what does decluttering have to do with maturity you might ask? Well, I am finally mature enough to admit that my disorganized office and bedroom are no longer just quirks of my creative nature, but perhaps (just perhaps) the result of too much introspective justification. If you cloak messiness in creativity then it becomes charming. Or not…..

I am no longer charmed by my own disorganization. I am ready (once again) to take up the gauntlet of what Marie calls a “life-transforming” habit. She says that “A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life-transforming. I mean it.” And to further her call to organization she provides us with some testimonies of people who were her clients—some of which I find a bit dubious; some inspirational. One person quit their job and launched their own dream business; one got a divorce (I do not find this testimonial all that inspirational, but I guess it all depends on perspective); another was “amazed to find that just throwing things away has changed me so much.”

If you get this book be aware that the author wants you to throw out a whole lot of stuff. She is unforgiving when it comes to this—and I must say I was a bit uncomfortable with her garbage bag solution—(I am more of a recycle girl myself)—but part of the Kool-Aid she wants you to drink is not to give your stuff to someone else so they then have to guiltily purge themselves of your stuff too. So there is a method to her madness, though she does relent in some areas and gives us permission to recycle if we are not burdening someone with our stuff.

I recommend this book to anyone, who, like me, is trying to convince themselves that creativity does not necessarily come from chaos. Or, if you just want to find that other blue suede shoe.

Published in: on August 4, 2015 at 12:50 pm  Comments (7)