spark joy

At this exact moment in time,  I have 5 shower curtains with matching hanging rings (and two shower curtains already in current use) 2  Bundt pans, 2 electric blankets (which I stopped using 3 years ago) 4 extra guest room pillows, 2 shirts and 2 jackets with the tags still on them.  I kid you not.

This may not seem monumental to you, however, it is a huge part of my life right now.

We are moving.

This is huge for us.  We have lived longer in this one home than any other in our entire married life.  The USArmy has a way of “encouraging” you to move every 3 or 4 years.  So when you find that you have “hunkered” down for 16 years, it is time.

It is time.  Way past time.  We have zero interest in becoming stars on a reality show about hoarders.

We have rolled up our sleeves and the work has begun.

This move is something new for us.  No one is telling us to move.  We have chosen this path.  That my friend, is scary.  In the past, if we didn’t like a town or a home, we could blame someone else.

This time, it is all us.

We have decided that we would rather spend our time & money (read that as 6 hours at a time doing yard work, a couple times a month)  on travel and visiting our grands.  No longer do we wish to be tied with guilt and fret over an enormous back yard.  No longer do we wish to have a formal living room that we don’t step foot in.  No longer do we wish to have places in our home that we never use.

So we have chosen to downsize.  It sort of feels freeing to even type that.

Oh, hold on, don’t think it is easy.  It is not.  When we first told the real estate agent we wanted to go smaller and he showed us a home that was indeed smaller, I nearly fainted. Okay, I lied, not that small.

We have found the Goldilocks size for us.

Something that will facilitate a shorter commute for Mr. Right (hallelujah!), smaller backyard, open and bright with lovely tall ceilings and a front porch.  A wonderful clean slate.

While we have not converted to being Amish, we are choosing to let go of many things that no longer bring us joy.  (Please see above mention of 5 shower curtains and rings.)

I found a book that is helping.  Spark Joy by Marie Kondo.  “the life-changing magic of tidying up.   Does this item bring you joy?  Can you, with a grateful heart say thank you and let it go? Can you take a picture and keep that while you ease into letting go?20160204_095208-1

I am making progress.  We are making progress.  It is very easy to wash, iron & package up shower curtains and rings that you are not using and say tah, tah.  It is not so easy to let go of the wedding shoes I danced with our son, (after my knee replacement).  The shoes are beautiful and make me smile.  I can’t let go, just yet.

As you know, Mr. Right leaves me a written letter each morning.  It is a privilege to be his Mrs. Right.  I am reminded daily that he loves me and is thinking about me.  Every single note, every single day makes my heart skip a beat.  Every sticker and stick drawing makes my soul sing.

However, let’s do the math, shall we?  (It nearly always comes down to the math, doesn’t it?)

One love note a day

X five days a week

X 12 months a year

X 33.11 years………

A beautiful hand written love note with drawings and hearts is a lovely and valued thing.

75 notes stacked into a dresser drawer and now the drawer doesn’t open easily, and some of the notes get bent corners and you have to use all your might to close the drawer…..see where I am going with this?


I love my letters.  I love the man, more.  I love our life together.  I love that we are starting fresh in a new home.

It is time to let go of some paper.  While I do not know all the words by heart, our grands can sing at the top of their little lungs…………LET IT GO!  

I am learning.

I am learning to let go and make room for new.  Or, just maybe I am letting go to make room for empty, calm, peaceful.  I am learning to take away “the noise”.  I like pouring the brown rice into a glass jar and recycling the loud, colorful package it shipped in.

We are taking steps to be grateful for the time we used something and grasp the idea that it is now time to pass it along.

Giving away a bundt pan that you have two of is a snap.  Giving away a set of dishes you love but never use?  Pretty easy.  Think how much joy you will get?  Think how much clutter in your cabinets and heart you will remove?  You will be making space for something happy and joyful to take it’s place.

Or space just to breathe.

Here is an experiment:  Marie Kondo suggests getting out your “good” dishes out of the box or the far reaches of a cabinet.  Temporarily replacing your everyday dishes with them.  No, you won’t break them, you are not breaking your dishes on a daily basis now are you?  Will you smile and reverently use your “good” dishes to serve warmed up pizza? You chose those dishes and they brought you joy.   Instead of once a year, Marie suggests living your life in joy on a daily basis.

I am a work in progress.  I am making huge strides on giving away, letting go.  Elizabeth Gilbert reminds us,

“You are allowed to be both a Masterpiece and a Work in Progress, simultaneously.”

Giving away the Candy Land game that I played hundreds of times with our son’s?  Darn near impossible.  I am not ready to let that go, just yet. c757e01cd68a7e0daca1e4a13d0a0014

The Candy Land game is moving with us.