Another Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives Challenge Update

Beth already did a challenge update this month and with a little over a month left in 2016, I thought I should see where I stand.

 

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In June, with about half the year under our belts, I had read six books off of the challenge list. Six books. Off my own challenge list. Ugh. I am the worst.

 

So, let’s see how well I’ve done since then. To The Raven King, The life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Year of Yes, Sad Girl Poems, the Feminist Mystique, and A bunch of Captain America, I have added: Americanah, Kindred, Bitch Planet, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Whipping Girl (in progress), Call Me by My Other Name (to be reviewed), and Emperor of Sound.

So far I’ve read 13 out of 30. As I don’t like failing at things I set out for myself, I have thought about rearranging the things that I’ve read this year on the list so that I can use things that aren’t currently on the list so that I can satisfy categories I haven’t gotten yet. Like, if I moved Shonda Rhimes to “read a book by a woman of color” then I could put Caitlin Moran in at “read a book by a woman”. But, I read Shonda Rhimes book first, so it is staying where it is. The good news for me is that I have another six categories already picked out. The even better news is that I’m part way through two of those books. However, there’s still a lot of work that has to be done in 2016 and, I have to tell you, folks. I’m not feeling sanguine about meeting the challenge this year.

 

This Month in Reality: Tidying Up

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When I get home tonight I’m going to take off my shoes and thank them (they are super cute and have done the hard work of keeping my feet out of the mud today). My wallet, essential oils bag (yes, I’m that kind of dirty hippie that brings her own aroma therapy with her everywhere she goes), my planner and the notebook I always carry with me will be taken out of my purse and I will thank them and put them in their new spots. I will hang my purse up and thank it. Then, I will feed my hungry, hungry monsters. Finally, I’ll try not to feel silly for expressing gratitude to inanimate objects. Hey, you know how I said I was done reading self-help books? Well, I lied to both of us. I read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. All of this thanking is Kondo’s idea. I’m down with expressing gratitude as a regular practice. It’s allegedly good for you. Thanking things isn’t a problem. (It feels weird, but I do all kinds of weird things so what is one more?)

So, I read this book and now I feel like I need to divest myself of half of my possessions. Which, on the whole, is probably not a bad thing. I am kind of a pack rat so I hang onto things longer than I need to. (And, I’m on the job market expecting that a move is in my future if I want to stay in my field, so having fewer things to move would be pretty awesome.)

The Konmari method seems to work as follows: Go through all your possessions one category at a time and get rid of anything you don’t need. Don’t move it to your Mom’s. Don’t put it in storage. Straight up give it away or sell it or throw it away. No longer have it within your reach. Keep the stuff that makes you happy. Not the stuff you feel like you should keep, not the stuff that you have “just in case”. Just the stuff that makes you happy. If you use your stuff as a barrier between you and the world to keep you safe, this is going to be an awful process. However, she gives you something to deal with the anxiety-inducing trash-fest. She wants you to start by thinking about what you want from life. How do you want to be seen? How do you see yourself? What are trying to radiate? How does your space reflect that? So, the life-changing art of tidying up is not just about divesting yourself of possessions. It is also about divesting yourself of ideas, thoughts, and patterns that no longer serve you.

In short, this is going to be a rough ride.

I think this is a great way to approach tidying up your space and your life. But, I also think that confronting your feelings and thought patterns is rough work and that it might be easier when you have Kondo there in the room with you. So, I recommend this book. It was an interesting read. But, if you’re going to use the Konmari method to get rid of stuff in your life you may also want to be in therapy or keep a journal of the process so you can work out your feelings as you throw out your stuff.

 

 

This book counts as my book by an Asian author in the Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives Reading Challenge.