I had published my latest blog on Oct 10th 2021 and since then I was on a journey. In my last blog, I ended with this line “Your best moments won’t come from getting a reward but from expanding the possibilities for your life.” So it was time to do it. The best way to do it was to look inside -a philosophical way (that is a blog for another day). The next best way was to look outside and see what is possible to change.
One day as I was in my room, I was not getting the vibes. That is when I decided to get myself into the act of tidying up. I was imagining a space with a lot of natural light and this inspiration came from a skillshare class I attended ” Make your own creative space.”
Right from my childhood, I learned one thing from my mother. She liked to keep changing the position of the furniture every three months and for her, that used to spark joy. So one day as I was staring at my room I too suddenly got that idea why not do a makeover of my room. So I zoomed in to decide the next steps and see what can be done. I love my balcony. So when I saw that my balcony is cluttered that was the catalyst to drive to zoom into each corner of my room and balcony and see what I need to keep, discard and shift to other places.
5 AM + Hot coffee + Balcony fresh air = Life feels a little less complicated ( Original equation modified for a RICH life)
I read somewhere that “ A house is a reflection of one’s persona and an interior is the natural projection of the soul.” So I decided to do a makeover of my room which was occupied with Post its. It was time to get myself “Consumed with Marie Kondo” methods for discarding things in my room.
So I made a commitment to tidy up. Next, I had to get into the task of making the discarding list and had to organise the categories for discarding. In a way, a natural order followed of discarding things that were not giving joy. The most important was to have an artificial deadline and do it in all go. The festive holidays along with the weekends became the perfect setting for the same. I never imagined that I will be able to complete the above amidst my travel and work and it was on weekends that proved the best. So I started with my room, then to the balcony and parallelly was also organising the space.
Since this is the first time I was discarding things in 8 years (ever since we had been to this house) it took some time to decide on the categories. I decided to broadly have two categories-one for personal productivity and the other one for professional excellence. Personal productivity meant keeping things that I have that can help boost productivity. Professional excellence was around keeping or discarding papers, notes and journals. One of the things I followed was not to discard any books at this point as I wanted to catalogue all the books and then decide to keep or discard them. This categorisation helped to move swiftly.
The next part was to decide which to keep and throw. That was the toughest part. I had to look at the things through a lens of the categories and the next thing was to decide if it sparks joy. That was not easy. It is very difficult to throw away things which you have kept for posterity. So the best is to make a mental note of all the things you want to keep and start picturing the new set-up.
While I was on this journey, I had a good time with my family. A case in point was how I decided to engage my younger daughter in removing the post-its from my room. It was on a weekend that I decided to make a plan for removing the same from my room. One of the things I did was do all the execution of my plan in another room and not in the same room. Maybe some biases that I will be conned into thinking to keep it and not discard it. So while I was taking the post -its block by block and pasting it into a drawing book my daughter saw it and she was fascinated and wanted to do it until her friend rang the bell. My daughter told her friend that ” I am helping my dad remove post-its and pasting them on this drawing book”. Looks like that sounded interesting for her friend and she also jumped in to help. As they say, how doing something’s for the first time is a novelty and they did a great job of helping me transfer all the posts-its from the shelves. My wife said that it reminded her of the fence painting story in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. Post that when I saw my bookshelves (minus all the post-its), I was reminded of the year 2020 that went by and how by staying at home I had created my world with words and it was reminiscent of the difficult year we all went through.
The next step was to remove all the furniture on my balcony. My apartment service team helped me shift furniture from one place to another and my wife helped me list the things on the apartment marketplace and there were some immediate takers. In the process, we met a gentleman who wanted one of the pieces of furniture. I had seen him many times during my morning walk. I always said hello but that’s where our conversation ended. This time we had a conversation and I understood a lot about his life and he also shared some gems of wisdom. He made one profound point that “the moment you are buying more things than is required it is time to remind yourself that you are having enough in this world.” I liked that statement and I recorded it in my mind
The next challenge was the biggest for me as I had kept an artificial deadline to clear the room and make it ready before Diwali. So we had one day to go and I had stacks of newspaper to clear. In that stack of paper, I wanted to sort the quotes which appear on ET Panache. That was a deadly task. So again I didn’t do it in my room. I did a makeshift arrangement in the drawing-room and created a system ” Lift, cut and throw”. With the pace at which I was going, I was not sure that I will be able to meet the deadline of 4 PM. So it was time to seek help. I had a well-rounded strategy and I approached my wife and daughters. I told them the procedure and I played some of their favourite numbers. In between, I was straying a different path as I was holding the paper too long in my hand and reading some of the quotes. In fact, my wife even questioned my approach of why I was doing it a single paper at a time. I learned from them that in order to increase throughput take a bunch and do the cut and throw. That increased my productivity and we could complete the job in time. I asked my wife whether they enjoyed the process and she replied ” we did it because there was no option and for Diwali, we wanted to keep the house clean”.
As it turned out there is a correlation I made when I was speaking to one of my friends when he said this is the only time when we pray to the rising sun and setting sun. That was an interesting observation. I thanked those things that had served me last year during those tough periods and embraced the new look in my room. Marie Kondo-ing my room and balcony made me realise how much abundance we have in life and it was time to recognise and think how blessed we are in this life. We also decided to share and serve certain things which we believe others will find useful. Cassie Stephens said it best, “Finding time to create is hard, but if you have your own creative space it gets so much easier.”
When I look back I noticed that being ” Consumed with Marie Kondo” methods expanded my possibility to make a creative space inside my room. I am modifying Joseph Campbell’s quote ” Your creative space is your sacred space and that is where you will find yourself expanding the possibilities of life again and again”.