Decluttering and rediscovering old notes

Discard everything that does not spark joy”, says Marie Kondo the Japanese organizing consultant and author who promotes decluttering to – what I believe – keep our sanity.

I read about Kondo’s art of decluttering in January 6, which was a perfect time to start 2015 afresh. I particularly like the inspiration behind her tidying obsession. It started after her years of work at the Shinto Shrine which taught her that a place without unnecessary things provides clarity in the mind.

The weekend after I read her article, I started cleaning up my room. I didn’t realize how much I have accumulated until I threw three trash bags! I threw even items that I hold with sentimental value but which I think I would not carry when I move out of Thailand. I also found many items that I bought but didn’t use even once. And indeed it felt great, really great afterwards. It was a therapeutic process, a sort of environment and mind detox.

But now that I am definitely moving out of Thailand and will have to carry only 30 kilos of stuff with me, I appreciated even more the lifestyle of living with less stuff. This reminds me of the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed which says, “I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprisingly of all, that I can carry it.

I shipped my most important stuff home, especially my books which occupied half of the package. What remained are stuff I need to bring to Australia, some to be given and some more to be thrown. As I rummaged through, I found my favorite organizer, a gift from my cousin Carmela in 2009. I also found my old notebooks. I realized I spent so much time scribbling on my first 3 years in Thailand. Reading what I wrote made me smile. Sometimes I even forgot why I wrote them. Some reminded me of special moments.

The remaining 3 years brisked before my eyes and I don’t have notes to remind me of them. I cursed myself for not documenting random thoughts or memorable moments. I now vow to write everyday even just snippets.

It’s funny to read my new year’s resolution 6 years ago. All of them I failed to do. And all of them still hold true at present. I will try to fulfill them this time around even though it’s already mid-year. I also found Bible verses I wrote on 2 January:

Laziness plunges a man into deep sleep, and the sluggard must go hungry.” Proverbs 19:15

Four things are among the smallest on the earth, and yet are exceedingly wise.
Ants, a species not strong yet they stove up their food in the summer;
Rock-budgers, a species not mighty, yet they make their homes in the crags;
Locusts, they have no king, yet they migrate all in array;
Lizards, you can catch them with your hands, yet they find their way into king’s palaces.” Proverbs 30:24-28



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