"Tidy your space;
transform your life," she promises.
transform your life," she promises.
But I'm a pack rat.
There: I said it.
I've also lived in the same house for nearly 35 years now.
It's a recipe for an overwhelming task.
Only a pandemic could have forced my hand.
Well, that's one good thing, I suppose.
The casual visitor wouldn't necessarily uncover this particular character flaw.
On the surface, there may be a little extra dust from time to time.
For the most part, my house is presentable ... at least, at surface level.
But I sure didn't want anyone opening a closet or drawer.
And even though I've been slowly chipping away - a cabinet or closet at a time - I still am not ready for a visit from the white-glove lady.
Kondo - the organizational guru - says you should get rid of "stuff" that doesn't "Spark Joy." OK, but some of it does spark joy - or at the very least - it sparks memories. (I am guessing Kondo is happy enough that some people bought her book. She must be betting that her missive is worth the real estate it takes on the book shelf. Something to ponder, right?!)
Anyway, I've thrown away a bunch of stuff.
We've donated some other stuff.
I couldn't bring myself to throw away some of the cards or letters my kids sent, so those went into a little storage box. I guess they'll get to throw them away some day.
First of all, I didn't say it.
I shared an accurate quote from someone I interviewed.
Their opinion, not mine.
Upon further reflection, perhaps I should have left that quote out. I was young.
A couple more were from the grammar police.
I usually do a better-than-average job with grammar.
But I'm certainly not infallible. One lady enumerated my many faults in a multi-page missive.
Isn't it curious that I've spent a whole lot more time thinking about the criticisms than the largely-positive "thank yous" and "so well done" remarks?" I suppose it's a lesson in human nature as much as it is grammar.
Long, long ago, the Class Prophecy for Skyline High School's Class of 1975 predicted I'd be a writer at The New York Times. Since I'm a small-town girl through and through, I never bought into the vision some creative classmate penned 45 years ago. At the time, I suppose we all envisioned that success was measured far, far away from the plains of Kansas.
My friends here in New York have decided that you should be on the staff of Opera News or at least The New York Times. I agree. You captured the essence of "me" on paper.A Lindsborg native sent me a letter from Germany by "Air Mail" after I interviewed her for a feature story.
Two other letters were addressed to Kim Moore and Pete Souza. At the time, Pete was a staff photographer for The News.
I read all of the letters again and then reluctantly tossed them. And, in truth, I didn't specifically remember three-fourths of the articles they mentioned.
In an evaluation I uncovered, a former editor called my feature work "exceptional." He had a lot of nice things to say, but he also pegged my shortcomings rather well.
1) While her reporting is - as always - thorough, it tends to be lengthy ...Guilty as charged to both counts. This blog post certainly qualifies.
2) She often gets very involved in the stories she's doing, and while so far that has actually been a benefit by giving her greater insight, caution must be exercised to see that it doesn't foul her ability to still look at the issue with the detachment necessary to provide balanced reporting.
I may have a harder time throwing away the actual clippings. I'm still in the sorting phase of that particular Kondo-inspired project. It's slow going.
I'm having similar withdrawal pangs about tossing:
- Mountains of newspaper clips, some of which I had entered in state and national competitions;
- Foothill-sized mounds of newsletter publications for Wesley Towers, Newton Medical Center, Youthville and others for whom I wrote as a freelancer after "retiring" from The News;
- Vocal solo accompaniment tapes, even though I don't have a working cassette player any longer and the church audio system can no longer play them;
- 4-H foods and photography leader files. This represents another huge investment of time and effort through my kids' growing-up years.
Isn't Google miraculous when you think about it?
I was amused by a file I found labeled "computers." An article in Kansas Farmer from 1989 had this headline: To Computer Or Not to Computer" with the subtitle: That is the question. A computer for your farm isn't necessary. Be aware of how much time it's going to take if you do decide to buy a computer."
My, how times have changed, right?
Another article in the computer file was from Family Fun magazine: "So You'd Like to Buy A Computer: What every family in search of a computer needs to know to get the biggest bang for the buck."
I guess that article ended up with the most pull, since there's also a receipt for the first home computer I purchased in that file folder.
My old proportion wheel reflects a time when page design required more brainpower than a computer.
I know my old Junior Parent notebook is obsolete, but serving as chair or co-chair of those efforts for both Jill's and Brent's classes also represents a lot of time and effort. Same goes for the kids' scholarship notebooks. And no way am I getting rid of the 3-ring wedding binder yet.
I don't even want to think about the tubs of photos and my kids' school mementos that need to be sorted and organized. But I have plenty to do before I get to that seemingly insurmountable task. I sure wish that digital photography had arrived a little sooner.
You can't expect miracles, Marie Kondo. I'm trying ... I really am.