Tidying up and the Great Material Continuum

You may be familiar with Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing of Magic of Tidying Up. I have read it and adopted some of her tips. It’s so much easier for me to part ways with things now and our t-shirt drawers are amazing. (If you haven’t read it, please read it before judging it–to do otherwise is so not cool.)

Very often when I read a self-help book, I look for the thing or things that I can integrate into my routine, the concept that improves life in some way. I am not fanatical about self-help books. For me, they are just tools in the tool box. And I need tools for tidying.

I have too much stuff. I have good ideas but sometimes like a Pinterest pin, things don’t go to plan. Sometimes I outgrow things (literally and figuratively). And Kondo’s suggestion to thank an item for its service and then to let it go is helpful when faced with an overflowing closet. I do have a generous heart and something that has really assuaged my guilt about acquiring so many things is a Ferengi concept, the Great Material Continuum. This is explained in Treachery, Faith and the Great River from season seven of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. (Get the complete series for less than $100–what a deal.) Basically it’s the idea that you have too much of a thing and not enough of something else while someone else needs what you have and another person has what you need. You put your excess out to the universe and you ask the universe for what you need. (Like Freecycle!)

As Nog says, you have to have faith in the Great Material Continuum.

So I do.

What I have been watching and reading

We have been Netflix customers for more than 10 years. We started off as DVD-in-the-mail customers and then made the switch to digital. In the beginning, there wasn’t much to watch and admittedly I can go weeks without turning on the TV. But I have some recent favorites.

The Fundamentals of Caring is a movie that everyone should watch. It deals with the difficulties of severe physical problems without descending into disability porn. We are all the same in spite of what we might appear to be.

Like Sunday, Like Rain is a story about love and the inconvenience of love. I like stories about kids that let them have power and depth without being far-fetched.

Copenhagen starts in such a way that you loathe the main character. He is also transformed by a kid. This is also a story about the inconvenience of love and doing the right thing even after a lifetime of being wronged and doing the wrong thing.

The Beauty Inside is such a Korean filmmaker’s take on the Quantum Leap idea of jumping from body to body. (It was also a television series.) The loneliness and logistics of such a life do feel unbearable but I, the queen of happy endings, can tell you to hang in there until the end.

I also really loved the TV series Haven based on the Stephen King book The Colorado Kid which I also recommend. We listened to the audio book. The Maine accents took a little adjustment but it was something we looked forward to every time that we got in the car. Haven is a town plagued by “the troubles” and Nathan, Audrey and Duke are on a never-ending quest to help the troubled. Also Nathan and Audrey: epic love story.

Lost Girl is a supernatural drama about the world of the Fae.  Bo and Dyson, another epic love story. Bo and Kenzie are a different kind of love story, friends that rescue each other and become bonded at the heart.  It is extremely violent at times and I spent some portion with my hands over my eyes. But the story is captivating.

Limitless is based on a movie   It’s so sad that there is only one season of this. The main character, Brian, is a bit of a hapless dork with a crazy wardrobe who is transformed into a super computer with the help of NZT a brain enhancing drug.

Vampire Diaries: I initially bought the first season on DVD mistaking it for Vampire Academy (vampires in high school–you can see how it happened). I am a sucker for vampire stories–they are always the ultimate redemption stories. The last couple of seasons have been weird for me but I definitely recommend the first few. This is based on the books by LJ Smith. I couldn’t read the books after watching the series (some of the differences were disconcerting) but I did like Smith’s Night World books and I hope the promised 10th book will be published some day.

I am reading Hidden Figures  by Margot Lee Shetterly and looking forward to seeing the movie. It’s a fascinating account of African American women mathematicians working for Langley Research Center starting at the end of WWII. But it also makes me sad because just as these figures have been hidden from history, others have, too. It makes me grateful for writers and historians who bring these histories to light.