What to Do When Things Don’t Bring Joy

Once upon a time, there lived an average lady who lived in an average house and led an average life.

“My life is average, I have an average husband, average kids, an average dog, and an average cat, and I am content,” she said to herself. “But something is missing.”

One night, she was sitting on her average couch, folding her average pile of laundry, flipping through Netflix, as average people do, when she saw a cheerful face beckoning to her from the TV set. This face was not average. This face exuded–joy. It was Marie Kondo. “Come,” the face said. “Let me help you break free of this average life. Let me help you find your joy by throwing away half your stuff.”

The average lady clicked on the joyful face. She watched Marie help person after person find their joy and clean their houses. She decided she was going to follow the teachings of KonMari and get her life–and her underwear drawer–in order.

She started with her clothes, making a large pile on her bed. “This thong from college that now fits on one thigh does not bring me joy,” she said, tossing it into the donation pile, knowing that certainly, a twenty-year-old used thong was sure to bring someone else joy. Going through the rest of her clothes in the same manner, she reduced her wardrobe down to three identical pairs of black leggings, Tweety Bird pajama pants, and a sequined scoop-neck tank top. “These truly bring me joy,” she said with satisfaction as she shoved them back in the drawer. Next, she tackled her husband’s clothes, leaving him with that sweater that’s super itchy but so sexy, and a three-piece suit.

Little by little, she went through the rest of the house, ridding it of anything that did not bring her joy, until finally, her house was no longer average – it was joyful.

When her husband returned home, he went to his closet to change into his well-worn jeans and his favorite t-shirt (the faded one that had come in a Budweiser case of 24.) They were gone!

“Where are my clothes?” asked the husband.

“I donated them,” said the lady. “They did not bring me joy.”

“But…they were mine!” said the husband.

“Come here,” said the lady, ushering the husband into a box in the corner. “You are not bringing me joy.”

The following morning, the lady slipped into her black leggings and sequined tank top and headed to her job as a fry cook. “I feel joyful,” she thought to herself as she cracked eggs onto the large skillet.

“You can’t wear that,” said her boss.

“It brings me joy,” she said, dropping bacon slices onto the grill, swerving to avoid the spatter.

“It brings you grease burns and me a lawsuit. You need to change,” insisted her boss.

“You do not bring me joy,” said the lady, leading her boss to the back of her car to sit for three months until she remembered to donate him.

As the lady went about her week, she simply placed anything she encountered that did not bring her joy into a box and disregarded its existence. The mirror in the poorly lit fitting room at the mall. The street light was that always red when she pulled up to it. Fiber. All of the not-joys went into the box.

And as she sat on her joyful couch and looked around at her joyful house and joyful life, she sighed a joyful sigh. She would never settle for average again.

This post originally appeared on Facebook. It has been reprinted with permission.

Heather Jones

Heather M. Jones is a wife of one, mom of two, and a writer of things. She loves Toronto, social justice, and sarcasm.