Some Further Reflections on Love

I recently served as a host for the Carnival of Aros and chose the theme “Love” (here is the round-up post). I’ve been pondering the submissions, and thus, I now have some further reflections on love.

A theme in many of the submissions is that love (especially but not just romantic love) is given an unduly exalted position in our culture. A few quotes in this vein:

“Love has such an inflated meaning / That it’s become meaningless to me;” from “Love Is Just a Feeling” by Magni

“Multiple people express a desire to not cheapen love. Allow me express an opposite desire: love should be cheap enough that I feel comfortable ever claiming it.” from “Those Magic Words” by Siggy

“Call me a faker, call me a fraud / But I think you’re all mistaking romance for god” from “Obsessed With Love” by Chara C.

“Even those who decry one species covert others, romantic traded for platonic, the flower pot placed on a pedestal just the same.” from “Love is a Flower” by Briar

I recommend that you remember the idea behind these quotes – that the value of love is overblown in our culture – because I’m going to reference it in the conclusion to this post.
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I poke at the essay “The empty promises of Marie Kondo and the craze for minimalism”

I am on a weekly blogging schedule, and the essay “The empty promises of Marie Kondo and the craze for minimalism” seems like just the kind of thing I’ll enjoy poking.

Yes, I disagree with the main premise – that the KonMari Method or that ‘minimalism’ offers empty promises, especially since I think going through the KonMari method in my own home delivered everything that Marie Kondo promised. Yes, I am going to be very critical. Yet I am going to be critical with smiles and giggles, not with screaming and raging.

First of all, I agree with the hosts of the Spark Joy podcast that “Konmari equals minimalism/minimalism is KonMari” is a myth. KonMari and minimalism can definitely complement each other, but I have found many examples of minimalists who have broken some or even all of the core tenets of Marie Kondo’s philosophy, and there are people who faithfully follow all of the steps of the Konmari method who aren’t minimalists. Heck, I have a blog post about one of the philosophical differences between the Konmari method and minimalism. There is also this discussion of how they are different. It’s not just KonMari fans who say KonMari isn’t the same a minimalism; there are also many minimalists who say that KonMari isn’t minimalism (example). This essay in the Guardian, on the other hand, tends to conflate the Konmari method and minimalism. To mean, that weakens its arguments.

As I said in that previous blog post, I neither claim to be a minimalist nor claim to be a non-minimalist. You, my dear readers, may decide whether or not I am a minimalist; I’ll accept your judgement.
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Eighth Anniversary Blog Post

Eight years and a few hours ago, the very first post in this blog was published.

I don’t think I imagined that I would really keep up a at-least-once-a-week schedule for eight years when I started. But now, I’ve been in the habit of blogging at least once a week for so long (eight years!) that I no longer really remember what it was like to not have a weekly blog deadline looming over me. It would be weird if this blog stopped being part of my life!

I wish I had some fantastic insight to deliver to you all for the eighth anniversary of this blog, but to be honest, I don’t. At least not this year. I had a more worthy insight last year.

Lacking some wonderful new insight for this year’s anniversary, I will instead note that, out of the five post popular posts of the previous year, four of them (FOUR) were published in 2017. Not the top five most viewed blog posts of all eight years of this blog, just from the previous 365 days. And the other post in the top five was published in 2018. So they aren’t my oldest posts, but none of them were published in 2019, which I find mildly interesting. If you’re curious, the five most viewed blog posts of the previous 365 days are:

“Mortality on the Pacific Crest Trail” (this is by far the most viewed post on this blog ever, a lot of people want to know about death on the Pacific Crest Trail)
“The Valley of Life and Death: An Wuxia Novel with a Female Protagonist who May Be Aro-Ace” – I really would not have expected this post to be in second place. I suspect it gets so many views because it catches the attention of both the wuxia fans and people looking for aro-ace themes/representation in fiction
“Instructions for making a Climashield Apex Quilt” – I hope that this post getting so many views means that people are making awesome quilts that are serving them well. This is also the only post in the top-five-most-viewed-in2019 list which was not published in 2017
“Does My Palace Cause Cancer” – I hope that the popularity of this post means people are becoming more aware of the toxic chemicals present in camping gear
“A Life of Fighting Is But a Dream” – Taking a Tour through Sinophone Pop Culture with “Dao​ Jian Ru Meng​” – Yep, another 2017 blog post which was really popular in 2019

I wish to thank my readers for spending some of their precious time on my blog, and I look forward to another year of blogging!

The Pleasures of Making My Own Bouquets

Here is a bouquet featuring several types of yellow flowers, some non-yellow geraniums, and some non-flowering white sage in the back-center.

I once took a two-hour workshop on how to make a flower bouquet. Thus, I know a few principles of choosing and arranging flowers, which is more than 99% of people know, but I am hardly an expert. Continue reading

Round-Up for the Carnival of Aros December 2019 Edition: “Love”

First of all, I heartily thank everyone who submitted to this carnival.

I am making TWO lists. The first list is purely links for people who want to access the submissions in a compact form. The second list contains descriptions and quotes. All submissions are represented in both lists, I’m just trying to accommodate different reading styles. Both lists are in the order that I received the submissions.

SHORT FORM LIST

I Ramble About Love. by Sara K.
“Those Magic Words ‘I Love You'” by Siggy
“Obsessed With Love” by Chara C.
“Love vs. Radical Kindness” by techno
“My Experiences Feeling Demiplatonic” by Magni
“Love is Just a Feeling” by Magni
Carnival of Aros – Love by Neir
“On ‘I Love You'” by Lokiana
“What about love?” by Scoop
“My experience with “love” being aromantic” by Isaac
“Love Is a Flower” by Ax
“The Baggage of Love” by Briar
“Growing Up Platoniromantic: Colours of Love” by Blue Ice-Tea
“Thoughts and Quotes about Love” by Soulriser
“Some Thoughts on Love” by raavenb2619
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The KonMari Method is So Popular, Why Does Almost Nobody Discuss One of the Most Important Steps?

Last week, I posted “How I Imagined My Ideal Lifestyle for My Tidying Process”. Why did I post that? Because, in retrospect, it was possibly the most helpful part of the KonMari method for me, I wanted to compare notes with other people, to see how other people went about creating a vision of their ideal lifestyles. And since everything Marie Kondo has been super-popular in 2019, surely it would be easy to find many examples and commentaries, right?

Wrong. Continue reading

How I Imagined My Ideal Lifestyle for My Tidying Process

I’ll start by quoting this previous blog post:

The part of the method I actually have done is visualizing my ideal life – in my bedroom. I did not try to visualize my ideal life overall, but I tried to think about how I would ideally like to spend my time in my bedroom, and what my bedroom would be like to best accommodate that.

What is your ideal life in your bedroom?

If I blog about it, which I may not, I will do so in a separate blog post. The point is that I did it. I have an idea of how I would ideally like it to be.

Guess what? This is the ‘separate blog post’ where I discuss how I imagined my ideal lifestyle for my KonMari process.

I focused my vision for my ideal lifestyle on my bedroom. Why? It is where I spend the majority of my time at home. More importantly, I was intimidated by the prospect of imagining my ideal lifestyle in all aspects. I needed to break it down just to make it seem manageable.

So, what do I want to do in my bedroom? Sleep. Drink tea. Blog. Do other things with the computer. Read. Engage in reverie. Work on crafts, such as sewing.
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