Sparking Joy For My Husband

Perhaps, Dear Reader, like my mother, you may not know that Netflix is currently airing a show called, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”  I haven’t watched all the shows, but I’ve watched most of them. I am more interested in her tips than in the lifestyles of others, although I did find myself talking back to the TV with the one gal who wanted to make room for a third child.

Honey, in the words of the Disney princess, Elsa, “Let it go!”  Seriously, no two children need that many toys and clothes.

My daughter was the first to Marie Kondo her life.  One snowy, horribly cold weekend I received periodic pictures of my daughter’s dorm dresser drawers as she transformed them.  She had Marie Kondoed everything and found she bought herself a surprising amount of extra space in her tiny college room.

It took me awhile to start Marie Kondoing my own drawers, but when I did, I too found the process to be amazing.  I too was able to free up more space in my drawers, and loved being able to see exactly what I have, which of course, helped me realize what I don’t need.

Marie Kondo says a person should only keep items which “spark joy.”  Well let me tell you I’ve been “sparkin’ joy” around this establishment like it’s my job.  (Also, cleaning out drawers was way more fun than writing a boring paper for the grad class I was taking at the time.)

One drawer was amazingly full of joy as I’d forgotten I’d hidden a Christmas present gift card in that drawer, and boy howdy, finding it was like Christmas all over again!  All the time I was joyfully cleaning out drawers, getting rid of “stuff,” and doing things I usually like to do with a renewed sense of mission and purpose, my joy was actually creating low-level stress for one member of my household.

To spell that out for you Dear Reader, my husband knew I was coming after his t-shirt drawer!

While my husband and I are very similar on the important foundational matters of life, he and I do not always share the same viewpoint when it comes to “stuff.”  I am a minimalist. If I haven’t used it, worn it, or benefited from it in a year why in the world is it taking up space in my home? When I die, none of my “stuff” is going with me.  I can part with “stuff” pretty easily. I’ve learned firsthand that at major pivotal points in life one’s stuff doesn’t do a person a lick of good.

And while my husband does not necessarily share my views regarding “stuff,” he has his garage and barns, and he lets me organize the main level of our home with minimal huffiness.  The basement is a compromise. (Regretfully, one person is compromising more than the other!) But he knew I was gunning for his t-shirt drawer. Believe it or not, I didn’t even have any aspirations of Marie Kondoing his other clothing drawers, but I knew, I just knew if I could Marie Kondo his t-shirt drawer, he would actually like it.

Although he would never admit it.

I entered our great room wearing a smile as big as Texas.  “I did it! I Marie Kondoed your t-shirts! Come take a look.”  He spoke not a word but went straight to this work. He marched back to our closet ready to call me a jerk!

And Dear Reader, guess what?  While he didn’t profusely compliment me, or buy me flowers, or offer to take me out for dinner (ummm, he never does those things anyway) he actually didn’t’ verbally complain.  Now don’t get me wrong, he has a reputation to uphold so his facial expressions and body language were a bit curmudgeonly, but he did acknowledge it was nice to be able to see all his t-shirts.

I was feeling p-r-e-t-t-y dog-gone good about myself until a few hours later when he asked, “How many of my t-shirts did you get rid of?”  I would never lie to my husband. I replied, “Only three.” He took in a deep breath as if he’d been mortally wounded and tried to process what this turn of events would mean in his life.  I reminded him of all the joy I was currently bringing him and brought him for the last 22 years.

He smiled his sly smile.  He laughed his semi-sarcastic laugh.  And deep down you could just see joy bubbling forth from his soul.  And as for me, I rearranged his t-shirt drawer. . .and lived to tell about it!

And now I’ve got my eye on his sock drawer.  Wink wink!

Until next Wednesday, Lord willing.

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