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In Which I Cannot Be Marie Kondo, Post #36 - Laura Wise

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July 17th, 2016


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12:44 pm - In Which I Cannot Be Marie Kondo, Post #36
First, the world has gone mad. Horrors and unequal treatment everywhere -- this LJ is mostly a safe space, but yes, it's as though I must mourn new atrocities every day.

This is perhaps why I've thrown myself into renovation and redecoration with such a will. At least there will be one sanctuary for me.

So, three things:

1) The renovation project continues slowly but surely. Along the way we keep finding mid-century building shortcuts (oh, like holes underneath the tub which were open to the crawlspace) that make me very glad I didn't know they were there before. However, we are almost to the putting-it-back-together-but-better phase!

2) Re the subject line of this post: as a byproduct of the jackhammer-sledgehammer action, I had to take all the glassware and good china out of the built-in kitchen hutch (which adjoins one of the bathroom walls). Seeing all the china out on counters, I realized that a) I have a full set [for 12 people] of my grandmother's Noritake Acacia china, b) it is just lovely, and c) there is NO WAY I will ever hold a dinner party for 12 people in my house. For one thing, I don't have the room. For another, no.

[On those rare occasions when I watch House Hunters on HGTV, I always almost sprain my eyes what with all the eye-rolling at the refrain "This is a great space for entertaining!" I have many, many friends with big families, and only one actually routinely does large-scale dinners. It's just not how most of the people I know entertain. I myself am a wine-and-cheese kind of hostess, and I hope to branch out post-renovation to afternoon Champagne teas.)

So for a moment in the moving and washing of china, I thought to myself, "Why do you still have this? Why not...sell it? And get six place-settings of another kind of china?"

And then my chest contracted in a physical rejection of the idea. It wasn't joy (a la Kondo), but it surely wasn't acceptance. So Grandmother's china will continue to live with me.

3) However, I had a small victory-slash-realization-of-my-own-stupidity today. I bought a very cool and rather expensive decorative cushion cover on a minor sale the other day (silk-and-velvet, cool pattern, from Age of Reason Studios), and was so pleased when it arrived that I ordered another. But then I had to think about purchasing plain cushion inserts. I priced them for a while, and was upon the point of ordering when I started rearranging cushions I already had, including one I had liked but didn't strike the right note. I was about to offer the rejected cushion to a friend, when...

MY INNER VOICE: Hey, you know you can use this cushion as the insert for your new cover. Like, and save money.

Lo, my inner voice was correct, and I feel slightly smug and stupid at the same time.

What small moments of sanctuary have you found lately? I hope you've got ways to rest and recover before working to make the outside world better. Good thoughts to all.

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:claudia_yvr
Date:July 17th, 2016 06:59 pm (UTC)
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When my grandmother -- quite possibly my most favourite person ever, shhh, don't tell anyone! -- died, I inherited her fine china. The china was in Germany, so every time my mother or I went, we would bring back a place setting or two. Same for when German relatives came to visit us, and eventually most of the set founds its way to Canada.

Despite the enormous sentimental value, I never ended up using it myself as it was not my style at all. I didn't have the room to store it, so it my parents stowed it for me. Four years ago, they downsized and I told my mother I was willing to let it go. Surprisingly, she was too. What tipped the scales was telling her I wanted to donate it, so someone could use those lovely plates on a daily basis. (We gave the china to a charity that directly distributes the donations to the recipients, not one that passes them along to a reseller for a percentage of the profit. So, Mom and I knew for a fact that the china would go to someone who really needed dishes.)

What small moments of sanctuary have you found lately? I hope you've got ways to rest and recover before working to make the outside world better.

I'm a news junkie, but have decided to limit my exposure to current events for now. My heart breaks for all who are suffering right now, but that doesn't help them or me. I've also been donating funds to an animal rescue in India, where money goes further than it does here. And continuing to declutter, giving away clothes and household goods.

I realize all of the above makes me sounds very altruistic, but I find giving things away is actually a very selfish act for me -- having excess (more than I use, more than I appreciate) feels almost sinful to me, in a world where so many people have so little. Giving it away eases my burden of guilt, plus it makes me happy to think of those items, which had been gathering dust, put to good use by people who truly need them.
[User Picture]
From:claudia_yvr
Date:July 17th, 2016 07:04 pm (UTC)
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PS My grandmother died almost 20 years ago and I'm sure I'd still own her china if my parents hadn't moved. So, I had a loooooooong time to say my goodbye to one of the few things of hers I had. In retrospect, I would've loved to have had something practical from her kitchen drawer, like maybe a wooden spoon I could use every day and be reminded of her. That said, the truth is that I don't need reminders because she will always be unforgettable to me.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 17th, 2016 11:14 pm (UTC)
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At the thought of donating my grandmother's china I got the same hard painful fist of No in my chest, so I won't be able to follow your excellent example. But yay you.
[User Picture]
From:claudia_yvr
Date:July 17th, 2016 11:27 pm (UTC)
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No, no, I didn't mean to imply you should follow suit! That's why I added the postscript about how long it took me to finally let go.

Interestingly, my only real keepsakes of my grandmother, aside from photos and letters, are some clothes she knit for me -- a beautiful cardigan and an unbelievable amount of socks, of every colour. I have more that enough socks to last me a lifetime and this sparks joy for me in a big way.

We are so very lucky to have had grandmothers worthy of being missed so deeply.

::hugs, hugs::
From:gwynnega
Date:July 18th, 2016 12:06 am (UTC)
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Yay renovation and redecoration!
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From:laurawise
Date:July 18th, 2016 11:46 am (UTC)
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Ysy for you! :) [hugs]
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From:anne_d
Date:July 18th, 2016 12:15 am (UTC)
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[hugs] Very clever, finding a way to use the cushions you already have and save money!

I just had a thought about your ancestral china - would it be feasible to put half into storage, and use half? Or is it just not your style?

Edited at 2016-07-18 01:51 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:July 18th, 2016 11:47 am (UTC)
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Your thought about the storage is a good one, but I actually have room in my hutch for it all. I'm just fussed about the wastefulness of so much. I DO use it for myself a couple of times a week! :)

Hugs hugs!
[User Picture]
From:janus_74
Date:July 18th, 2016 02:40 pm (UTC)
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I only know one family that does big dinner parties too, but even then I don't think it's a fine china kind of affair. I love the idea of your afternoon Champagne tea though.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 18th, 2016 06:56 pm (UTC)
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I'm really looking forward to afternoon Champagne teas. :)

Cheers and a great Monday!
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From:stevie_carroll
Date:July 27th, 2016 08:43 pm (UTC)
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I went up into the loft today, and despite the tidying not being finished yet after our weekend project, having a roof window is making a huge difference already.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 28th, 2016 08:31 pm (UTC)
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Oh hurrah! How cool a roof window sounds! :)

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