I just recently and spontaneously purchased the popular Marie Kondo book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
I'm not sure...my present season of life involves quite a few things outside of my control or time constraints, most of which are quite untidy and even border on unsanitary, in the case of my small children. I just can't be at every bathroom trip to make sure the final steps are done to my satisfaction. Being tidy is low on my list of daily goals, and even lower on my list of magical things. At the end of the day, my magic is found in a day where everyone made it to where they needed to be and back again. Where bellies were filled and bodies were clothed and we all connected around the dinner table to talk about our days. Being the parent of young children, my goals for the day sometimes don't include laundry or cut grass or oil changes or other necessities of life in the 21st century first world.
Literally there are some days where my magical goal is that no one dies.
Basic human needs. Food, clothing, shelter, school, other humans. This is all I can do some days. Of course it's not always that way...some days we find extra hours to play at the park before dinner, or grab a coffee with a friend before preschool pickup, or fold a drier full of underpants, or have sex before we fall asleep. In this season of life, magic is in the extras.
So I bought this book, perhaps because the fingers of Amazon Prime reached into my brain and scrolled down the list of Recommended Reading? Or perhaps there is something in every human soul that longs for their embodied life to be tidy. Living in the city, there are resources available to me that I like to take advantage of. There are big trucks that thunder down my street every Monday morning to take away trash and recycling from the front sidewalk. This is amazing. As are the sanitation workers who do this essential service- before Pursy was in school every Monday morning we used to sit on the front steps and wait for the garbage truck to come so the kids could yell "Thank You!" from the porch. The guys would give us a wave and a friendly chat while they disposed of our trash, and both of my kids at one point wanted to be garbage men when they grew up. I told them if that's the case then they should watch the guys who work our street because they do their job with excellence.
I also have a Target a few blocks from my house, with endless aisles of tubs, crates, barrels, bags, shelves, etc. to help me organize anything in any room. I can create a place for anything I don't want lying about on the floor. We have small lidded boxes for individual Lego sets, large cloth bins for gloves and hats, big plastic tubs for Christmas decorations and outgrown baby clothes and power tools. If I wanted to, I literally would never have to actually look at anything we possess. Just a stack of containers with a lid that snaps tight.
It does (and is) begging the question in my head and heart, why do I keep all the things I put away? If I am not using it and don't want it within arms reach, why do I need to hang on to it? I believe this is the questions Ms Kondo raises in her book, and her answer is to pass along things to others who might benefit from having that particular item within arms reach. That magic is found not in acquiring, but appreciating. This is all from reading the description on the back of the book and chatting with other people who have read it. Maybe I can save myself some time?... but I've already purchased it (acquiring fail already).
Of course, this is not a new concept from Ms Kondo nor is it a revolutionary idea for me. I have a habit of purchasing things spontaneously and there is a stack of books on my bedside table bearing witness to my love of buying books. Is a beautiful but unread book in a pile better then one lonely book with a bookmark in it?
Knox comes home from wherever his travels take him and immediately runs upstairs to put on his feetie pajamas. And this habit annoys me to death, especially when we weren't done doing things that require clothing, but the look of joy on his face when he runs into the kitchen in those damn feetie pajamas is better for him than a pile of Octonauts toys. He knows what magic is. And he knows where to find it. At immediate arms reach.