Does it Spark Joy?


I recently finished reading “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Japanese consultant Marie Kondo. It’s a lovely book that has a few simple changes to make to transform your living space, and by doing so, your life. 

Like many things eastern, although it is simple, it isn’t particularly easy. Especially for a westerner.

One of the biggest principles is to first discard everything you own that does not spark joy within. After sorting and gathering all of your belongings, Kondo recommends handling each object you own and holding it next to your heart to determine if it sparks joy.

When I thought about it, I realized that hardly anything I own sparks joy in me.

My parents were raised in the Great Depression, so the unspoken words I was raised with were “it’s not enough.” So I’ve accumulated things over the years, subconsciously telling myself that it’s not enough.

No matter what I got or did, it wasn’t enough—so just keep going.

When I chose the word Bravery for my word of 2015, I knew I wanted to make some big changes in my life. One of which was to leave my job. The other was another major downsizing. Last month, I took the plunge and left my job and also moved out of my living space. I will be renting a house with a little over 700 square feet.

I knew I wanted to end the “it’s not enough” way of living. After reading Kondo’s book, I know that I want use “does it spark joy?” as a guidepost for objects I keep and also for how I live.