Sunday, November 27, 2016

Inanimate objects and me

I was always the type of kid who gave feeling to inanimate objects.  Maybe I've mentioned this before...
But I really gave feelings to things.
In literature it is called Anthropomorphism:  the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities.  It is apparently quite common in children, which doesn't surprise me, since I definitely did that in a big way.

I felt sorry for anything that had to get thrown away.
I would put stuffed animals in piles in certain ways on my bed or in my room because I figured the ones that sat next to each other became friends and if I moved them, they would be sad.  So they got to sit by their friends whenever I would arrange them.
If I used one pencil or pen or crayon more than another I would assume that the others were feeling left out and would try to be more fair and use them all equally.
I used to kick rocks as I walked home from school.  But when I would get a block or so away I would feel bad for kicking the rock away from his family...I just could not bring myself to leave the rock there.  So I would pick it up and return it to the spot where I started kicking it.  Yes indeed.  I did this many many times. Knowing I would later feel sorry for the rock did not stop me from kicking rocks.  I liked kicking rocks.  So I would just kick them knowing that it meant I would need to walk back to return it eventually.  I never felt bad for actually kicking the rock.  I mean, I knew rocks couldn't feel. And yet somehow, I thought they'd be sad.  It makes no sense I realize.

I have grown up and become somewhat more logical.

I know that the spoons are not lonely when I set them in the wrong or different spot in the drawer.
I know that throwing something away does not make it "sad".
I can use my favorite pen as much as I want and not worry about the other pens.

I do still find myself feeling slightly uneasy if, say, I am washing grapes and one goes down the drain.  I hate to think of that grape growing on the vine and being shipped to my store, and then purchased by me only to end up in the drain.  I will usually grab it back out and wash it off so it can live to it's potential of being food (if it's on the non-disposal side...because the disposal drain is way too gross to pick something out of there).  So, yeah, I'm still a little nuts.  I know this is a little nuts and so I sometimes force myself to let the darn grape go into the trash.

I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
This book has a lot of good advice.  And I am a tidy person in general so it spoke to my general sense of neatness and not being wasteful.
But (and I realize she is from a different culture) in some parts of the book she came across as a little bit nuts (I sure am using that word a lot in the post).  A little bit obsessive.  And, yes, I realized that we were kindred spirits in that way.

One of her pieces of advice is to take a moment as you fold and put your things away, to give thanks to the object for doing it's job properly.  I read it awhile ago so that might not be the exact way that she puts it...but that's the idea.

She believes in keeping only those things that bring joy into your life.  I like this too.  Not keeping things out of guilt or just because you've had it for x number of years or because someone gave it to you as a gift.
I didn't follow all of her advice and there are a few things I still plan to do, but one thing I did do was to organize my socks.
I have never like "matching" socks.  I don't like to fold them together so that the tops get all stretched out.  So I just kept all of my socks willy-nilly in one drawer all together.  It was never that hard to find a match and it worked fine.
But I liked the neatness of the way she folds socks together.  They are in pairs but not getting all stretched out. 
Recently I found myself folding the socks together and thinking in my head "Thank you for serving me so well and doing your job" or "Thank you for keeping my feet warm" as I put them away.

I don't know if this makes me a nut or if I am just being thankful for the good things in my life, like warm wool socks.

But it does sometimes take me back to my childhood and my love for various inanimate objects.  I assumed they loved me back.  I mean, why wouldn't they?  I was so nice to them.

So I guess I will just continue to try to be as sane as possible.  I will continue to be nice to actual humans as much as I can...and maybe sometimes I will be nice to my inanimate objects as well and to thank them for their service.

What can I say?  I'm a little nuts.  But in a nice way.

1 comment:

  1. I DID THAT TOO. I used to eat the brown M&Ms last just because everyone saves their favorite color for last and nobody's favorite was brown so I felt bad for them. I mean really. Also,t hat book changed my life because I got rid of so many clothes my mom has bought me over the years. They're expensive, beautiful clothes that she paid full price for but I've never worn and couldn't get rid of. But after reading that book, I thanked them and dropped them off at Goodwill. ha!