Does it Spark Joy?

If you’re a fan of Marie Kondo, this title will bring a smile to your face along with the urge to spend the next few days dumping all your clothes on your bed.

I stumbled across Marie a few weeks ago while on a very cold evening I was bundled under a comforter looking through Netflix. I love her gentle non-judgmental approach as she helps folks organize their homes. Unlike the myriad of all or nothing home organizing reality shows I’ve watched through the years, I find myself relating to a process that nudges you to reflect on what’s behind keeping the piles of stuff in your home and if an object doesn’t bring you joy, why should it take up valuable space in your home or in your life?

The best way to control clutter is to move! My mom told me once that her mother, when she would get mad at someone would say to them “I hope you move”, because after all moving is right up there on the top 10 list of stressors of life.

In a fifteen year period I moved 5 times and each time I let go of stuff that at the time I thought I would miss. The memories from when my kids were little, school papers, craft projects, or mementos from various trips, my collection of spoons, or single crystal candlesticks, or my awesome collection of cows, because if you work at a place with a cow in its name, you must love cow milk pitchers, right? And the 20 large containers of Christmas stuff that’s now pared down considerably

As hubby and I began to settle into our forever home that we bought 3 years ago, we’ve been very intentional about what we bring through the door. No trip souvenirs unless they can be useful, like my wool scarf from Scotland that’s been keeping me warm this winter. No magnets for the refrigerator or mugs for the little kitchen. Instead we take lots of pictures that we make into small photo books that can be easily stored and found!

Which brings us back to what sparks joy in our lives. At one point in my life when I was younger I found joy in stuff, but as I got older I find the biggest sparks of joy are in the hugs from my grandkids, the morning texts and phone calls from my kids, the connection I have with my church community and friends and the spark of joy I feel every morning when hubby greets me with a cup of black coffee and a smile.

It’s in the small things that spark joy, a lit candle, a roaring fire on a cold winter evening, a campfire in Maine with dear friends, pot luck dinners, Sunday brunch, drinks after choir, overnights at the lake, vacations with family and friends, spa getaways, and hikes that don’t result in a trip to the ER.

I hope you find what sparks joy for you and be mindful that it’s not always stuff. What’s in your heart is enough to spark joy for a lifetime.