New blog design, sans bells and whistles

I’m doing Marie Kondo’s Konmari method of tidying up the house. I love her books. I started using her method in January but stopped after I got sicker, and was having trouble letting go of things. Now I’m back at it, with renewed determination. I just bought her new book, The Manga of Tidying Up, and it’s a delight from the first frame. I just love this woman.

I finished tidying clothes in about three days, and have now moved on to books. She advises leaving memorabilia for last, because it’s so emotionally charged, but I found books to be pretty charged and difficult to tidy. In the end I was able to get all my books onto just one of our three big shelves, with room to spare, and filled 7 brown paper grocery bags to get sold back to a bookstore. It was a triumph, but it was tough! Books represent so much. Giving away a book I meant to read but didn’t, felt like wasted potential. Something I should have learned but failed to get to. I had to continuously remind myself that if I’ve had them this long and haven’t read them, I probably won’t get around to it. Though that didn’t stop me from keeping a couple dozen for a “to read” shelf. We’ll see if I really get to those.

While pulling things off the shelf, I found a few blank books that both myself and my daughter had bought. I held each one in my hands – as you do (does it spark joy?) – and pondered why I never used them. I realized it was because the books were too fancy. I felt a lot of pressure when I went to use them.

It’s the same with the blog. I want to blog more but don’t, because all the newer blog themes are too fancy. I feel like “they” (whoever chooses themes for the database) wants me to create a product, something I should be selling. There’s nothing wrong with that, with creating a brand for that purpose. Who knows, that might be my path someday. But for now, and for the last few years, blogging has only been about building a connection with others, through mutual hobbies, and especially through sharing the burden of living with a chronic illness. It may sound strange, but when I feel like the blog theme – the “notebook” – I’m using is too fancy, that it wanted more from me than I wanted to give it, I didn’t want to write in it.

So, back to an un-fancy theme. There wasn’t even a place to put in a menu of social media icons. Now that’s ancient technology. All this theme wants is a title and a few paragraphs. For now, that’s exactly what I want to give it.

6 responses to “New blog design, sans bells and whistles

  1. I’m a librarian, books are an occupational hazard. That said, I try to borrow as many as I can from the library, and buy only things I will use again. I remember years ago getting rid of some books I used for a course in grad school and feeling such a relief that I felt I would never ever need to refresh my memory of the technicalities of Indonesian gamelan music (for some reason, it’s quite fashionable among music schools of a certain ilk to have gamelan orchestras, weird). But some books will never go.There’s a book by John A Lomax that my mother bought when it came out (before I was born). It’s part of the family.


    • I completely get it. I have a book that my Grandpa owned. It’s inscribed with his handwriting. It’s a book of English poets, and I hardly ever sit down to read it (maybe one poem a year?), but I love it and will never give it up.


  2. Together we have five small boxes of books, and that includes my padded photo albums. Every time we pared down our collection my heart hurt. I have so few left, it’s sad.


  3. I honor your choices; simpler is easier. My problem is that all the stuff sparks joy. I have other mental methods (“someone else will need this now!”) for divesting the hoard. And somehow, we have more books than ever before. Asexual reproduction.


    • Books definitely reproduce in a way that I don’t think science has been able to accurately explain, yet. I couldn’t believe I had seven bags to leave, and yet my shelf is still 80% full. And two of those shelves are “to read”! I know I said it was a couple dozen books, but I think if I counted, it’d be……higher.


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