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  • Chloe O'Sullivan

On Tour With the Kid | Finding Your Joy


Marie Kondo, the Queen of tidy, perfectly folded clothes and well-organised cupboards, admitted recently "she's kind of given up". She told the Washington Post that the change came about after the birth of her third child and that her house is messy. The woman who convinced the world to throw out anything that didn't spark joy is now tripping over kids' toys and shoes like the rest of us, and I, for one, could not be happier for her.

 

Don't get me wrong, for the 5 minutes a week that my house is perfectly tidy, it's lovely. But on the list of things that spark joy, a perfectly mopped floor or well-sorted Tupperware draw doesn't even crack the top five!


It did get me thinking about what does spark joy, though, and how much time I am consciously choosing to do those things. I had to admit that it's less than I would like, so I decided to change that.


Live shows and my love of music and theatre were instilled in me from a very early age by my mum, and this is something I want to share with the kid. We are so lucky in Newcastle to have venues like Lizotte's and Quirks in Abermain, where you can go as a family to watch top-quality live acts. We also have a thriving local arts scene that ensures the attraction of sensational live theatre.


We recently saw Come From Away at the Civic Theatre. It dawned on me about 5 mins into the show how odd it was to be sitting through a show about the events of 9/11 with someone who hadn't even been born when they occurred. It is the thing about a beautifully told story; it's timeless. I can't wait to take her to Velvet Rewired at the Civic in April to transport her back to a time when disco was Queen. I have decided to go to Banging Denmark at the Playhouse without her because the other thing that sparks joy is the occasional night out with a cocktail in hand.


Aside from the kid, animals are the love of my life. Even before she was born, I used to drag my friends to the zoo and farms any chance I got. I was the kid who used to find a sick cat living in a drain and convince my mum we needed to keep it. One of those cats once gave birth on my bed in the middle of the night, but that's a whole other story.


It's not even just domestic animals. The kid and I have annual passes to every zoo within driving distance and I recently had a chance to work on a short-term project with Dog Rescue Newcastle, I was so in awe of the work they do.


We have just lost our own gorgeous 14-year-old dog, Diesel, who was originally a rescue. I know the kid would love a puppy, but I'm just not ready. We got a chance to visit with a litter of 12 puppies at Dog Rescue Newcastle recently. Not only are they looking for forever homes, but they need people to foster dogs in the interim. As I sat there and watched the kid smile and fall in love with these puppies, I realised nothing needed to be a definite no. Sometimes you just need to look at things differently.


I'm finding joy in the little things and occasionally tripping over a random shoe. Totally worth it.


Words by CHLOE O'SULLIVAN

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