Happy Fourth of July to my American family and friends.
It’s a hot one today. Nothing like a dripping tap, broken toilet and a mentally ill neighbour having an episode in the morning to set my teeth on edge for the day. A slow Internet on an even slower PC isn’t helping my disposition any. But I am hanging in there. I am determined to make the month as per status quo. I breathe, drop my shoulders, clear my mind. I close down the browser, shut the computer off and restarted everything. Success!
I left the computer running as is. I needed time and space to get into the zone. There were no words in my crowded, messy and frustrated brain – no transmission possible to my finger tips. They could not tap out anything no matter how nimble and willing they were.
Out came the vacuum and I am now happy to say the air and floor are much clearer of dirt and Sheba’s dog hair. The AC has been running. It is cooler. My edges are smoother. I haven’t yelled at anyone. My fingers are happily flexing their muscles. I wonder if they have a story to tell.
I’ve been a slob, clutter bug forever and a day. It’s a story I’ve been obsessed with and told for decades. Maybe I should change the story for it no longer serves me. So let me tell it one last time and then forever hold my peace.
It was a class in Grade 1 or 2 when we were living in Hong Kong. The teacher requested our parents to send a note stating our worst habit. We all dutifully brought our notes to the teacher. When my name was called, I had to stand up. The teacher read my mother’s note which said that I do not pick up after myself. I drop things, like paper and leave them on the floor.
The class was, in essence, like Show and Tell. My mother probably did not know what the teacher was going to do with the information. I didn’t. She read the note out loud while I was standing up beside my desk. Then in a very authoritarian and loud voice she said my name: LEUNG HAFONG! and proceeded to tell me to mend my ways. Then: SIT DOWN! I felt crushed. Tears stung my eyes, but I did not cry. I was a stubborn and willful child. I clamped down inside.
Who knows if that did me more harm than good. But now I am done with the clutter bug story. I am done with being that willful child. I do not have to be a willful and stubborn adult. I can let go. I no longer need that clamp.
It is the Fourth of July. We are all free!