Simply put, Marie Kondo changed my life and it had nothing to do with how to fold underwear or roll socks, although that came in super handy. It had everything to do with prioritizing what sparked joy and at the time, I had one big thing in my life that was definitely not sparking joy.
First, though, a few words about Marie Kondo. In 2014, she published a small, spare book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It did not appear on my radar until the next year, 2015, which also coincided with my first feelings that something seriously needed to change in my life.
The book detailed Ms. Kondo’s quest for a truly revolutionary way of cleaning up which she ultimately found by ruthlessly auditing all of her possessions and keeping only those that sparked joy. This concept intrigued me. How can a thing spark joy? Soon enough, though, I was figuring it out. That dress I haven’t worn in three years? Not sparking joy. The favorite cashmere sweater: Definitely sparking joy.
Soon enough, I had gone through my closets, my books, and the leftover moving boxes from three years earlier. My closet was a vision of organization and I felt a great peace knowing I had tamed this particular beast into submission. To this day, I still roll my socks and keep my closet tidy, the Marie Kondo way.
The thing was, it was only a matter of time before this revolution in ruthless auditing of possessions turned towards the other giant portion of my life that was causing me grief: my job. I was a lawyer in private practice and the shine had worn off completely. I was miserable–and close to needing anxiety medication–but I was unable to see past my unhappiness.
You know where this is going, right? Why limit myself to ruthlessly auditing things when there was this glaring portion of my life that was definitely not sparking joy? And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I finally decided a month after reading her book that Ms. Kondo was on to something. If something was not sparking joy then it needed to go and that something was my job.
My husband was not thrilled. He had obliged my talk of sparking joy when the stakes were just books and clothes. But, when it came to major life decisions like employment, he faltered. I don’t blame him in the slightest. I faltered at first, but ultimately, I realized that I needed to find something that did spark joy and I was not going to find that where I was. So, February 29, 2016, I gave my notice.
Almost three years later, I can easily say that I now have a job that sparks joy. It’s not one that most people would consider joy-worthy, but I do, and I am thriving. So, thank you Marie Kondo, for showing me how to audit every portion of my life and ditch whatever – possession, job, hobby – was not sparking joy. And, I hope with the new show on Netflix you can reach even more people with this life changing message.