Indulging in Unfashionable Things
Chores belong to the ordinary, to the humdrum of life.
Today is Sunday in Hanoi. The season is winter.
Coming from the Philippines, I should welcome and enjoy the low temperature. But lately, all I do is hide myself under the blanket with a book.
Friends said it will be like this for a couple of months. I’m not desperate for summer and I don’t dislike the cold. But there are more days when I dread going to the shower.
Anything below 20C is cold for my tiny Filipino body.
There are several truths I cannot avoid, things I can’t hide from no matter how cold it gets. There are people to talk to, jobs to attend to, deadlines to meet.
Just like you, I have obligations I can never escape from.
Setting the important aside, there were several unfashionable things that took all of my focus today while wearing chunky socks and a thick, long coat.
I cleared the kitchen, put things in the right drawers, folded newly washed clothes, and identified which items can be given away to friends. Wrote this post. Went for a massage. Bought six muffins from the supermarket.
A feeling of solace came after as if I accomplished something worth celebrating when I only did chores.
Chores are not considered “big things” but they consume and fill our time. We never get paid to do them like what our jobs do for us, but they are significant enough to drive us crazy if they’re not done.
Imagine leaving unwashed on your sink for an entire weekend.
Chores belong to the ordinary. To the humdrum of life. No award is given for arranging the shelves and sweeping the floor. The only reward is having a tidy place.
These unfashionable things keep our homes — our lives — in order. And when things are in order, our thoughts follow.
When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state. -Mari Kondo
When we engage in these unfashionable, dull things, we can go back to bed thinking “I took good care of myself today.”
It’s a powerful thought to end any day.
Here are more stories about tidying up.
Life-Changing Lessons From Marie Kondo
3 Books to Kickstart Your Minimalism Goals
Odyssa is a teacher based in Hanoi, Vietnam. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love and From Where I Stand: A Collection of Poems on Travel.
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