This is for the Carnival of Aros: “The Intersection of Religion and Aromanticism”. I somehow ended up discussing spirituality rather than religion.
The words ‘romance’ and ‘spirituality’ have something in common: they are very difficult to define.
‘Religion’ is also difficult to define, but I think it is easier to grasp than ‘romance’ and ‘spirituality’ (but maybe it is more difficult for other people). I can observe the organized sets of behaviors and ideas which English speakers label as ‘religion’ and I think I know what it means. ‘Culture’ is similarly difficult to define, yet I also think I have a firm grasp on what ‘culture’ means.
I think one difference between words such as ‘romance’ and ‘spirituality’ vs. words such as ‘religion’ and ‘culture’ is that, when you ask someone what is ‘religion’ or ‘culture’, there is a good chance they will point at specific and external examples of ‘religion’ and ‘culture’. They are less likely to require that the person asking the question examine their own feelings. By contrast, when you ask someone to define ‘romance’ or ‘spirituality’, a common response is ‘you will know it when you feel it’. There is a widespread assumption that all (healthy) adults will feel these things. So what if you are an adult who does not feel these things? Continue reading
This post contains major spoilers for Way of Choices (擇天記) by Mao Ni. I’m serious, the spoilers are major.
Content note: brief reference to murder-suicide
In the novel Way of Choices by Mao Ni, the protagonist, Chen Changsheng, and another major character, Xu Yourong, develop a romantic relationship. This is a total non-surprise since the reader learns in the prologue that they have been designated as each other’s fiancé since a young age. In many ways, their romance unfolds in a very typical way, though there are enough surprises to prevent it from feeling too clichéd. Though they break off their engagement for a while (because of misunderstandings and not wanting to get married to someone their elders arranged for them to get married), they reach a point where they have obviously decided to get together romantically after all.
Then there is a ten year time skip. I was actually a bit surprised by this time skip because I expected them to have the ‘obligatory’ wedding scene before a decade-long time skip. As both Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong appeared on the scene after the time skip, I expected to find references to their wedding, or to hear the story of why they were not married ten years later. I found it odd that, chapter after chapter, there were no such references, or even a clarification of Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong’s official relationship. Since Chen Changshen and Xu Yourong are depicted interacting with each other, the reader can interpret how they feel about each other after the time skip, but that does not answer the question of whether or not they are married.
Quite a few chapters later, Chen Changsheng has a conversation with another character which strongly implies that Chen Changsheng is already married to Xu Yourong, though this is not explicitly confirmed. Of course, Chen Changsheng and this other character would already know whether or not he is already married to Xu Yourong, so they don’t need to say it out loud. Continue reading
Yes, I finished doing the KonMari thing before May 1st.
To be clear:
– I only went through MY stuff; I did not include stuff which is common to the whole household, nor my parents’ stuff
– I am interested in doing some de-cluttering in other specific parts of the house at some point in the future, but NOT NOW, and only if/when I can get my parents on board
– I did not do a digital KonMari (i.e. I did not apply the KonMari method to my hard drives, email, etc.). I don’t know whether or not I want to do a digital KonMari.
– There are still some changes I want to make in my room, but since those changes are not about what stuff I am going to keep and where I am going to place the stuff I want to keep, those changes have nothing to do with the KonMari method
Did you do the categories in the recommended order?
No, my order was: Clothes, Papers, Books, Sentimental Items, and Komono. (I actually started on komono before I finished papers, but since I finished the komono category last, I placed it at the end).
What was the easiest category?
What was the hardest category?
Clothes. Thank goodness I got that over with first.
Did the KonMari method change your life?
Of course it did, anything which changes my living space so much is going to change my life.
Errr, I don’t think that is what most people mean when they hear or say that the KonMari method is ‘life-changing’? Continue reading
This is for the April 2019 Carnival of Aros: “Coming Out and/ or Being Out as Aromantic Spectrum“
The hardest thing about coming out as aromantic is that the vast majority of people don’t know what that means, and it is difficult to explain it quickly in a way that makes sense to someone who has never heard of aromanticism before. Asexuality is easier because a lot more people have heard of asexuality as a sexual orientation. Even if they have not heard of asexuality as a sexual orientation, they probably know what a sexual orientation is, which makes explanations easier. There is no widely-known framework like that which aromanticism fits into. Thus, I rarely bother to come out as aromantic.
I find it easiest by far to ‘come out’ as aromantic when I am in ace spaces, either online or offline (so far, I have not had much contact with specifically aro spaces, but my guess is that coming out as aro in an aro space would be even easier). Many of the aces I am in contact with are also arospec, and even if they are not, they generally already know enough about aromanticism that I do not need to go into a long explanation. I would go as far as to say that I am ‘out’ as aro whenever I am among aces. (By the way, since this blog has so many ‘asexuality’ posts, it counts as an ‘ace space’ for this purpose). Continue reading
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up recommends putting all sentimental items together, and to deal with them as the very last category.
I am following that principle in my own way.
First of all, I disposed of quite a few sentimental items in my pre-KonMari sweeps because, as soon as I handled them, I knew I did not want to deal with them any more. Why fill up my sentimental item box with stuff I already wanted out of my life?
There were also quite a few sentimental items which I figured I probably would end up not keeping BUT I wanted to spend some time with them before I let them go, and spending time pondering sentimental items slows down the whole process. Thus, they went to sentimental items box.
I’ve reached the point where I’ve found almost every sentimental item I am going to find, so the number of items in the sentimental item box is no longer increasing. Considering how many ‘I know I want to let go but I want to spend some time on them first’ items there are in there, I dreaded the prospect of doing a clear-the-sentimental items marathon. Thus, even though I’m not finished with komono (i.e. the stuff that does not fit in any of the other categories) I’ve started the habit of pulling a few things out of the sentimental items box every day. That way, I can give myself as much time as I want to ponder them rather than rushing through them. Also, this way I do not get fatigued with going down memory lane – as soon as I’m tired of thinking about them, I put them away. When I am ready to let go of an item, I do so in the most appropriate way (usually via the recycling bin) and if I do not want to let go, even after I’ve had time to study and ponder the item, I either assign it a new home and move it there, or I put it back in the sentimental items box. Continue reading
Part 1 left off where I finally got into the basement with my dad to find the books I really wanted to find. We had been in the basement together before multiple times to either do other things or to prepare for searching the corner where we believed the books were, but this time we were SERIOUS. We were actually searching the corner where my dad believed the books were.
During the conversations my dad and I had about finding the books –
The fact that you needed to plan this search in advance, have conversations, and do prep says something about the disorganization of your basement room.
– he proposed tossing out a bunch of my mother’s stuff without telling her about it. He said she would not miss it, and I am 95% certain that he was right about there being a lot of stuff she would never miss if it disappeared.
But just about every single book / guide / YouTube video etc. about decluttering, even if they strongly disagree about other aspects of decluttering, emphasizes that getting rid of other people’s stuff without their permission is a REALLY BAD IDEA.
First, it is disrespectful, and that is reason enough to leave their stuff alone. Second of all, if you do get caught, they will stop trusting you, and it will be bad for your relationship. Third, if caught, they will hold onto their stuff more tightly, and generally make decluttering even more difficult. Fourth, getting stuff out of the house is an effort. I’m more willing to put that effort into my stuff than my mother’s stuff. And finally, my dad also has quite a bit of stuff in the basement which he says he does not need. I think it’s tacky for him to talk about getting rid of my mother’s stuff when his own stuff is not in order.
Also, I need to clarify something: there are multiple rooms in our basement, but only one room is called ‘the basement room’. This post is only about ‘the basement room’ not ‘the basement’ in general (after all there is a room in our basement which has been empty for a long time). Continue reading
Going through the ‘Books’ category of the KonMari method was difficult-
Of course it was, you love books.
No, that’s not the reason why it was hard.
No, I’m not one of those booklovers who clutch books just because they are books.
You seem a bit defensive about this.
Yeah, I guess I read too many comments responding to Marie Kondo’s ideas which declared that letting go of books is horrible, without any consideration of potential negative effects of having too many (paper) books, such as not wanting to dedicate time to organizing books because there are too many of them, not being able to find specific books because of disorganization, or books getting damaged because someone was too busy reading books to make sure that books were being stored properly.
Oh, so that happened to you.
Sadly, yes. It was only a handful of books that were severely damaged (mostly due to water damage, but there were also a few books with many pages falling off the spine). One of them was a book which once meant a lot to me. I felt sad when I realized that it was no longer readable. My dad also has some old books which have been chewed on by insects because he had them when he was living in Florida (which is apparently a bad place to store paperback books), though at least those books are still readable. That said, I know that some people who embark on home tidying projects discover that their beloved books have been subjected to even worse forms of damage due to neglect. Thankfully, 99% of the books I had as of January 1, 2019 were still at least readable, nor did I find any books in really disgusting condition (even the few water-damaged books had dried up).
Finding those damaged books was a wake up call that if I really respect my books, I need to keep my personal book collection small enough that I can manage it well even with the small amount of time and energy I am willing to put into book maintenance (or put more time into book maintenance, but I prefer to reduce the size of my collection). Continue reading