Coming Out as Aro Usually Takes More Effort than I Want to Give

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

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“Are angles real”: Dealing with Sentimental Items

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

The Books & Basement Saga, Part 2

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

The Books & Basement Saga, Part 1

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.

Really?

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