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February 19, 2017 / edwardonbebop

Completeness

This word doesn’t qualify me at all. I am very far from being complete (who can call oneself really ‘complete’ anyway ?). However it makes sense in some parts of my life or at least in one of them.

The train of thoughts that lead me to the idea of completeness was triggered by two elements. The first one would be the concept of continuous improvement. This idea derives from my profession in IT (professional quirk) but here it applies on daily life moments. It means that each time I tackle a chore or something related to that, I try to make the situation at home at least one tad better than it was before. For instance when I do the washing up, I try to clean or tidy a little more than strictly what I just used. In an ideal world this would lead to a perfectly clean house but it is not the case, and the reason behind this is not the topic of this post.

The second element that influenced that thinking was Marie Kondo‘s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. That book changed my views on things that belong to the material sphere of the world and how we connect to our belongings. It made me question how my belongings influenced my mood, my soul. One idea of the book is “one (type of) thing goes to one single place” or “don’t create clutter”.

In the way I live, tea takes has a big importance (if you know me from somewhere then you probably already know that). I drink tea very often (unless my life is a mess). During the day I treat myself with several “tea rituals”. These moments are precious to me because they are all about me. A moment in which I take a step back. The ritual of the evening tea is even more important than the others. This one is almost like meditation at times.

However my evening tea ritual used to be incomplete. Indeed I used to prepare everything for this occasion, enjoy a quiet moment and then move on with the evening or go to bed… only to find the next morning that I had to wash and tidy everything. This fact struck me as wrong only the evening when I decided to clean everything before going to bed… and that I actually took pleasure from that.

How is it possible to take pleasure from washing a teapot and a cup ? Well this was strange to explain at first. Then the idea of completeness came to me (based on the two triggers mentioned above). I took pleasure from cleaning, washing and tidying because that made my ritual complete. Things were after my ritual just as they were before it. The change was then only inside of me. I felt better than just moments ago yet I had left no traces of my ritual anywhere. My well-being created no negative side-effects.

Moreover the time I took cleaning and tidying felt like an extension of my alone-time, my introspection time. It also allowed me to realize that I was lucky for having the time and the means to treat myself with a nice tea session. I think I can even say that my life would be even less complete without my tea rituals.

One of the reasons for my depression or anxiety is my lack of a life-style (yes, it may be strange but I have no idea what a suitable life-time would be for me, ab. so. lu. te. ly. no. i. dea. at. all). I am starting to believe or realize that with more completeness (and more tidying) my life would be closer to what I could call an actual life-style.

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2 Comments

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  1. leeniedevinity / Feb 19 2017 10:30 pm

    I’ve heard of that book by Marie Kondo. I like this quote from the Wikipedia article: “Identifying the things that make you happy: that is the work of tidying.”

    I dislike chaos and have always lived by the old Victorian homily: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Order provides a good foundation for any lifestyle.

    I love the “full circle” completeness of your new tea ritual. 🙂 There’s a wonderful logic and calmness to it.

  2. edwardonbebop / Feb 20 2017 9:28 am

    I have nothing against chaos, as long as it is located in limited spaces (for instance, I think “creative” locations in one house can be great). But order is clearly lacking in our current home.

    Anyway, “full circle” is a good way to picture the completeness in my ritual. Good thinking !

    Logic was not something I was lookin for in the way I live my ritual as everything this came out of experience and how I felt. However if putting this experience into words gives a sense of logic, then it means that I am not completely insane or “psycho-rigid”. Which is a good thing I guess.
    🙂

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