Last weekend I declared I was going to ‘Marie Kondo’ my apartment. This means getting rid of anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ as described in her excellent book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. People love this book, and I totally see why.
I’d hate to bore you with posting the same workouts every day, so I thought today would be a good opportunity to talk about the connection many people feel between the state of their homes and the state of their minds and bodies.
A few years ago I felt overwhelmed by the dish situation in my kitchen. I just could not keep up with the dishes. I felt like I was a defective adult. Of course, it wasn’t just the dishes. My house was not in order and neither was my life. I felt discouraged by the state of my career prospects, school, my love life, and my body (which looking back at photos of how thin I was at that time would be hilarious if it was not so sad).
Rather than wash the dishes I threw them in the trash.
This might sound like a defeat, but in fact, it was a victory! I had far too many. I live alone and I certainly do not throw parties. I had 10 large plates, 10 small plates, 10 saucers and teacups, 10 bowls. It was ridiculous. When I threw them away I bought three large plates and three bowls. Now even if I let every dish in the house pile up it’s still not that big a deal. It was so freeing.
I would like to say that that moment was a drastic turning point, but really that small start took a while to really extend to everything else.
So what does this have to do with training for the half and running? Everything. In the same way that running has helped me to change my life, taking control of my living space has prompted me to feel better about who I am and more in control of the trajectory of my life.
I’ve written before about how running makes it easier to accomplish other goals. I don’t remember who said it and google is not helping, but I’ve made this line one of my mantras, “Running is great practice for not quitting.” That is so true. Just like how when I make running a priority it makes it easier to feel I deserve the benefits of other healthy choices, the more I discard in my home the less burdened I feel by the past and the easier it is to make those healthy choices. Marie Kondo says,“The place we live should be for the person we are becoming now – not for the person we have been in the past.”
I hated my bed. I’ve had the same one for 10 years and it wasn’t new when I got it. There was even a spring that stuck out in one spot that has cut my leg a few times getting out of bed. Yesterday I bought a new one. A major purchase that I feel I finally earned. By the time my new bed arrives tomorrow morning I hope to have removed everything that no longer pertains to the person who I am and who I am working on becoming.
Making this purchase made me even more excited to throw away all my stuff, all the junk that was taking up space in my life but not making me happy.
I deserve to sleep on a comfortable bed that has 0 potential to cut me.
One more quote from Ms. Kondo:
“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
As always, below is some more information about St. Jude’s and the impact your donations make. Please donate to this wonderful cause here!
Donations make a difference
Every dollar donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital counts! Take a look at some of the possibilities that your effort could provide to the kids and families of St. Jude.
Infant Care Supplies for 10 Babies: $50
These supplies help parents and nurses care for babies in treatment and include items like diapers, baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, footies and heel warmers.
Wagons can make traveling through the halls of St. Jude easier for parents and more fun for a young child.
Parties to celebrate birthdays, holidays and “coming off chemo”: $75
St. Jude provides parties, decorations, cakes and more to keep spirits high during the holidays and to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and a child’s completion of chemotherapy treatment.
Creative Toys: $100
Play is an essential part of every child’s life, and it’s important for the children to have fun as often as possible. At St. Jude, colorful, toy-filled play areas are just as plentiful as exam rooms.
Delicious Meals: $210
St. Jude provides meal cards so that patients and families can enjoy the comfort and convenience of good, nutritious meals in the Kay Kafe, our cafeteria.
One Day of Oxygen: $447
Oxygen is key to keeping the immune system strong. A gift of oxygen can help a young body thrive and help fight cancer at the cellular level.
Child-sized Wheelchairs: $700
These special wheelchairs help children move easily through St. Jude.
Airfare for a parent and child: $1,000 Average
For a patient referred to St. Jude, the hospital covers the cost of airfare for a child and one parent or guardian.