Thursday, October 8, 2015

PHFR~ It's a Lemon


As you might expect, we're really enjoying our darling new addition, and yes, after 4 weeks, I am thoroughly exhausted! 
But look at how cute this little addition is!

She is full of sweetness and will certainly oblige her sisters in all.of.the.cuteness.


Madeleine is especially enjoying all of the one-on-one time with her while the older two are at school.

Although this week is Fall Break, so... ;)

And this (past) week we also celebrated Frances' fifth birthday! So hard to believe! (I know I say that at every birthday, but seriously!! ) Five sounds *so* old. And she is very proud to be five! She announces it to strangers at the playground, so you know it's got to be big! ;)

She got a lemonade maker/handheld juicer (not pictured) for her birthday, and we made homemade lemonade!


I know... sooo impressive/impressed. Whew!! ;)



She also got this miniature lemonade set for her dolls. LOL.


After everyone in the blogosphere mentioned, read, and/or recommended it, I just finished reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up cover to cover, over the course of the last four or five days.

While I found much of it helpful- ideas and inspiration for getting my house and myself in order once again- I think over all it is not going to be one of my all-time favorite books, even of this year.

I honestly can see myself going two ways with it.

-you have to read this!
-I can’t recommend it to you enough!
-here, take my copy so you’re not living in the dark any longer!

but on the other hand, I’m thinking…

-this is a fad!
-this is simply the latest craze!
-didn't her years as a Shinto Shrine princess contribute to the heresies of Eastern religion throughout the book...?!

See, the thing is, I understand that "thanking" your possessions has a way of giving you permission to toss them. But I have this feeling that fads are often the result of - or are loosely tied to- idols in one's culture and in the world.

In it, she claims that as a child, she didn’t have many hobbies, aside from reading magazines.  When she started to study, she had a compulsion to clean, and her grades were terrible. When cleaning and tidying became her favorite hobby, she started throwing away her family members’ things and then lying about it… (?!)

She does say this was foolish, yet she has no shame declaring that her love for tidying... and her respect for possessions rivals or even exceeds that of human beings! (She mentioned this outright at one point in the book).

At first, I thought that her way of “talking to things” was a fascinating metaphorical language.  I wasn’t weirded out by her method of bowing down before houses and possessions before tidying them… simply because I thought it was “cute.”  Aw, she talks to her stuff. What a unique and clever method!  (Thinking: it doesn’t mean anything beyond a clever tactic for “selling” her method- and hey, what’s wrong with that?)

As I continued reading, she continued explaining why she thanks her possessions for their role in her life and for “a job well done” at the end of the day, just as a famous athlete worships the right equipment needed for his sport. I started to feel a little freaked out.

I might as well say, “Thanks pillow, for bearing my spittle. You’re a true warrior princess.” Now I will throw you away…. *cough, cough* …*discard* you.

But talking to my pillow would be ridiculous. And frankly, that’s just what this book is. It’s ridiculous. It’s a fad. It’s an ideology based on a series of tricks she has used to motivate herself and her clients - ultimately for the sake of promoting her unique “brand” .... and her way of speaking is motivational and convincing (You have to try my method, you will never rebound, your life is about to change, etc) - just like any fad before it.

But our possessions and our fads should not bear this much weight. They shouldn’t rival our people.

Go ahead— disagree! I know some people will! That happens any time a strong opinion is asserted. But be forewarned- I am not on the fence, I will never talk to my possessions.  I think she’s weird.  ;)

Adding my link to Like Mother, Like Daughter


kristinabean said...

Thanks for the candid review of Kondo's book! I was debating trying to hunt down a copy and read it after seeing all the recommendations across the web but I don't need the weight of that worldview on top of my already difficult struggle to keep things clean and organized. I'll just look for the practical tips elsewhere, without the philosophy.

Also, your girls are absolutely beautiful :)

Emily said...

I think the think with her book have to be ready for it. I know that sounds weird. But the first time I read it I was like, oh, whatever. The second time--I started to see the logic. I have a REALLY hard time getting rid of books. But when I was really ready to reduce the Horde of Stuff, I was ready to take her advice. Does that make sense? I didn't so much think of the "worldview" part. I mean, yes, she's Japanese, and her advice is filtered through that lens, but I didn't feel like there was an underlying philosophical bent toward Shintoism, or anything like that.

October Rose said...

I agree at least partially with you about Marie Kondo. She believes the root of happiness lies in things, basically... And when I read about her childhood, it struck me as very sad!! What I liked about her, though, was that she approached material possessions as good, but things we should be able to say no to when they no longer have a role in our life. I found the positivity of this approach refreshing, and compatible with our vision of Creation and created things as a gift from God.

I think as Christians we can "hack" her method to view things as gifts from God, and expressing gratitude to Him rather than the possessions themselves. :)

October Rose said...

Because yes ... She definitely is writing from a Shinto perspective!

Sarah said...

What a sweet baby! I felt similarly about Kondo. I feel comfortable with a "take what's useful" approach to books, so I found some of the concepts (gather everything of one type, evaluate on whether something sparks joy, etc.) useful. I don't thank my belongings, but in the spirit of cultivating thankfulness I can definitely see pausing to thank God for his provision and then asking Him to bless others through it when I get rid of it as a good spiritual exercise. That said, yes, many parts of the book felt the same way to me. Idolatry and placing such a high value on material objects over people really stood out as issues. Sometimes her book places such a focus on things and gratefulness to/love of them that objects and having just the right balance of stuff and being grateful to it sounds almost like a religion. It's not our relation to "stuff" that will save us!

Laura {a spoonful of joy} said...

Glad to read your honest review - I'm going to trust your judgement on this one... Sounds pretty weird!
Your daughter is beautiful & I love the one-on-one time your younger two girls get to enjoy while the older two are at school.
The mini lemonade glass is SO SO cute!
Happy Birthday to your big five year old!

Tacy said...

@ kristinabean~ Thank you! If you do read it, read it with a grain of salt!

@ Emily~ I am certainly not a fan of hoarding. I'm pretty ruthless with books, clothes, and broken toys. We have clutter, but it could be so much worse. I felt that her worldview was influenced by the Japanese "gods" of various things (Shintoism is a very vague term), but it wasn't a main focus of her book.

@ October Rose~ I agree that there is a Christian hack for this book. That's a good way to put it.

@ Laura~ Thanks so much! Yep I think you'll be fine and ok just to avoid it.. my personal opinion! ;) You're so sweet!