In search of joy

Marie KondoI looked at the calendar and was horrified. It’s already June. Shouty advertisements announcing the end of financial year sales are assaulting our eyes and our ears and the middle of year is nearly here.

Where has the first half of 2016 gone?

What have we achieved? What do we have to show for the time?

Dear world, please stop, I want to get off.

I don’t know about you but my days are a blur of school drop offs and pick-ups, work deadlines, juggling complicated extracurricular schedules, whipping up dinners and lunches and sorting through loads of washing.

There’s a federal election on but I have to be honest, I’m only half tuned in. Which knucklehead thought an eight-week campaign was a good idea?

My sons and I watched part of the leaders debate (before the lure of Masterchef won) and I realised that in my eldest boy’s whole 10-year lifetime we’ve been through five Prime Minsters. I assured him it didn’t used to be this way. That we used to stick with someone and afford them time to settle in and do a good job.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has tuned out from the tedious backbiting and name calling which now dominates our political agenda. It’s unedifying and depressing to think so much of our money and time is consumed by this circus.

Please just make it stop.

The end of the financial year always provides pause for thought; a time to reflect on what has been and what is to come.

We are in the midst of building a house and over the next two months must pack up our home of 12 years and make the big move to our new dream home.

It’s incredible the amount of ‘stuff’ you accumulate living in the same place for more than a decade.

It seems like yesterday that we brought our new sons to this house and fumbled our way through early parenthood.

There in one box at the back of the cupboard are the photographs and artistic creations … the proof of the two people who have consumed so much of our energy these past 12 years.

Tiny little hand prints in bright paint, coupled with loving messages from our boys to mark Christmases, Mother’s Days and Father’s Days.

As we pack our lives into boxes we realise we’re on the cusp of their teenage years and before long they’ll be telling us they’ve found a place of their own.

The older I get the faster life becomes and the more I feel we’re on a treadmill.

I recently spoke to an acquaintance who decided to hop off the treadmill. She has made major changes to her life, packed up her belongings into a small van and is driving around Australia. She’s turned her back on the demands of everyday life; said ‘No thanks’ to the dull financial commitments and restraints we burden ourselves with. She says it’s liberating and she wishes she did it sooner.

Apparently there’s an entire world away from the drudgery of bills, appointments and work deadlines.

Sometimes when you’re in the thick of it it’s hard to remember this.

So as I negotiate my way through 12 years of accumulated ‘stuff’ I vow to be more present; to enjoy the little things; to focus on the now.

I’m on the Marie Kondo decluttering bandwagon and have started a purge of the clothes, shoes, kitchen and household things that are weighing me down and filling my life and my brain.

I’m asking myself, ‘Does this bowl/vase/jacket spark joy in my life?’

When it comes to clothes most of my joy comes when I discover something still fits.

I’m a realist and realise I may never go the full Kondo, but starting the journey is better than not.

Once I have packed up, cleaned out and moved house I will turn the Kondo method to the rest of my life.

I vow to focus on the things that bring me joy each day. On the passions which inspire and the activities which I love.

Many of them have been pushed aside these past 10 years of motherhood and the second half of 2016 is the time to reconnect with the me of old.