05 February, 2011

Lessons In Letting Go

Title: Lessons In Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder
Author: Corinne Grant
Genre: Non Fiction - Memoir
Audience: Adult
Format: Book (library)

Synopsis: Corinne Grant is a well known Australian comedienne. What her public face hid though was the fact that she was a hoarder. You know, you've seen them on TV, houses stuffed to the brim with things they can't throw out. While she was never so bad she needed intervention from Today Tonight, it was out of hand. Lessons in Letting Go shows the reader how she became a hoarder, the effect it had on her life and friendships, how she finally faced her demons and cleaned out her flat.

What I thought: I love Corinne Grant. I think she is one of the funniest people around. So imagine my surprise when I discovered reading this book that for a lot of the time, she was unsure of herself, plagued with guilt and totally unable to control her stuff. The book was great. She seems to hide nothing, tracing her hoarding back to earlier days and systematically moving through her worst and out the other side. All done with humour when appropriate and seriousness when needed. I think there is a little bit of a hoarder in all of us, but for some it's easier to let things go. Grant realised in the end the hoarding wasn't the problem, it was a symptom. With the "hideous 'woman in her thirties trying to find herself' cliche" trip to a Bali yoga retreat and a trip to visit refugees fleeing from war torn areas of the Middle East to Jordan, she started to identify what was important and what wasn't, giving her the strength and courage to clear out her own cupboards. In the end, she gives 22 lessons in letting go, ranging from 1. You don't need to travel to the Middle East, lose your best friend or discover an old man had died to find motivation to start de-hoarding. (Frankly I went a bit overboard.) But you do need to sit down and figure out why you are holding onto things in the first place. to 16. Reward yourself...Buy yourself something decent. Just one thing. 17. I said, just one thing.
And in the end, she has this bit of advice for those who are unsure if they are a hoarder or not: here's a little test that might help: If someone gave you this book as a gift, they were trying to tell you something! Makes me glad I borrowed without any recommendations!

Recommended for: those who love a great, positive story on overcoming a problem...or those who think they might be a hoarder!

Challenges: A-Z Challenge,  100+ Challenge,