Monday, March 28, 2011

Making Space.

In a previous post, I described how through my work decluttering, I was making space for a surprise from the Universe.

Surprise!

Guess what I found!

I found myself able to read a serious book! I have never been able to read a serious book before!

I know that sounds kind of silly, but it's true. I read fiction, memoirs, true crime, and decluttering books, but nothing, like, academic. I have a BA, but I swear I never read any one assigned book in its entirety. I went to The Evergreen State College and took Women's Studies classes - all you have to do is say & know "The Personal is the Political" - which I do believe to be absolutely true - and write about how it feels to be a woman. And I think this is a worthy pursuit! But it didn't require reading a whole book. And I took drawing classes, which were awesome and changed my life but also did not require reading.

I have put in the decluttering work for REAL this time. I've done it before, several times before, but this time I feel like it is more real and more lasting. Thanks to all the fabulous minimalist/simple living blogs I've enjoyed, I now understand that decluttering has an essential second step - changing consumer habits. You can send out as much stuff as you like, but until you also stop bringing it in, the clutter situation can't fully transform.

I have found time and space like I never dreamed possible. It's not like I used to spend all my time dusting my gew-gaws or anything; I didn't find time that way. It just showed up!

How can it be that getting rid of stuff creates time? I don't know! It's like magic!

And so, I found myself able to begin reading Foucault: A Very Short Introduction. I had to go out and buy a dictionary - we didn't have one. But when I brought it in I tossed out the same-sized Reader's Digest Book of Home Remedies ha ha. I went to a used bookstore and the clerk helped me find a Merriam-Webster's. He told me that Webster's isn't a brand, it's a style, and that Merriam's is the best.

I sat down for portions of every day this weekend and I read that serious book, and I actually USED the dictionary when I came across an unfamiliar word, instead of glossing over it and trying to guess what was being said. Several times I was really surprised by the true meaning of the word, different than I assumed. So it was really valuable to use the dictionary!

Honestly, I have never had this kind of discipline. I'm blowing my own mind. And I know in my heart it is because I have done the decluttering work. I have so much less guilt and weight on my mind, there is space for learning for the first time.

Wow.

2 comments:

Deb said...

Hi Liina

Good on you for reading a whole serious book. I have a semi-serious book on the go but I find that I've gone back to the TV for relaxation. Writing for a living means my head is exhausted by the end of the day and isn't fit for much except complete veg out. I am glad that I filled my work space with the writing but it's just interesting that minimalism isn't static. You're in space where you have room at the moment but in this time you might realise your true calling and the space will close up again, so enjoy it while you can

Liina said...

Deb - I must admit I have not finished the book yet ;) I like to consider myself pretty good at not taking things for granted - so I am very sure to enjoy my time & space while it is here!