Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


Rearranging the furniture

Posted on September 25, 2018 by jimparedes

Rearranging the furniture

HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE – Jim Paredes (The Philippine Star) – September 16, 2018 – 12:00am
We have been moving things around the house. Call it spring cleaning. During the last four days, we have been doing a lot of laundry — not only of clothes we have been wearing since we arrived in Sydney; all the blankets, sheets, towels, comforters, scarves, table covers we own were stuffed into the washing machine which ran for practically two days, and then were hung outside to dry.

Luckily we have been having sunny days lately.

Lydia has been cleaning the rooms, carpeted areas, the sofas, bathrooms, and toilets. The vacuum cleaner has been humming many hours of the day. As for me, I have been mopping, sweeping and helping move furniture and chairs.

Some of the furniture had not been moved in years. We moved them all. We had to vacuum, mop, sweep and wipe the spaces they previously occupied to move other furniture into them.

Normally, when you do cleaning like this, some old items, gadgets and things you used to love suddenly reappear. I stumbled upon a very nice, sporty speaker set I bought in Sydney years ago. I remember listening to my iPod on it. I also found some other gadgets — mostly computer accessories that I spent a lot of money on. I remembered feeling then how much I had wanted to own them, only to forget about them after a few weeks.

While we were clearing things, Lydia and I reviewed a lot of old but still working electronic stuff like big scanners, old WiFi stations, mics and camera accessories for old laptops, and bulky disc drives. We could not readily decide to just throw them away.

My kids would have had no problem getting rid of stuff like this. But Lydia and I come from a time when, instead of throwing out stuff, we often reused or “repurposed” the items before they ended up in landfills. Also, maybe our generation put greater value on such things because they seemed like breakthrough buys when we purchased them. These gadgets transitioned us from the analogue to digital age. That was a big change for us. For our kids, on the other hand, digital was the only age they knew.

I remember one time, my son Mio borrowed my laptop and he saw so many files and apps on it that had not been opened for a while. He was shocked. He gave me unsolicited advice to trash anything that I had not opened in six months. I ended up trashing a lot of things but not all. Luckily, I kept some documents that I needed and will still need in the coming years.

Lydia has very strong instincts about how things should be arranged which, remarkably, makes good sense even in terms of feng shui. She can put objects in places where you can sense a more balanced distribution of energy in the area. You get a sense of the “flow” of the room. It seems more vibrant, open and positive after she is through arranging things. The space becomes not just more aesthetically appealing but also more highly functional. It is amazing.

As for me, I am very easy to please. In every house we have rented, owned, remodeled or built, my simple demand was for some private space for me. I am a low-maintenance person. I really do not have strong opinions about how furniture should be arranged. I do not even have preferences about the colors of walls. I just want a place where I can sleep comfortably. I am happy when Lydia is happy about the house. In matters like this, I give her full control. I let her call the shots since she stays in the house more often than I do.

She likes to periodically remodel our house. She likes adding spaces, repainting, rearranging, taking out walls, adding new corners, etc. I am generally open to that as long as they are done quickly. She likes to transform spaces into areas that are not just livable but also conducive to entertain, and comfortable to be in.

Today, we moved a lot of stuff around in our simple home in Sydney. Some things were light. Others, like cabinets and tables, were heavy to carry. After everything was put in in its right place, we decided to get rid of a lot of stuff that did not fit into the new set-up.

It is good to let go. You actually feel lighter. If you haven’t missed or searched for things you own in years, what’s the point in keeping them?

There is something Zen about throwing things away. I am not just talking about worldly stuff. I am referring to the attitude of letting go, which we should apply to other areas in life. Letting go of fixed ideas, concepts, beliefs, opinions, hurts, people, negative emotions, entitlements, the past — things that no longer serve us — can make us feel that our mind and spirit have been “rearranged” somewhat. Life can suddenly seem fresh, new, invigorating, as you let go of stuff and allow new ideas and experiences in.

Imagine life as a dark house with so much furniture. You must navigate your way through the clutter. Many times, we find ourselves bumping into the same furniture. Maybe it is time to bump into new things.

That’s how we grow.

FURNITURE

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/lifestyle/sunday-life/2018/09/16/1851776/rearranging-furniture#rOV2JfiLTqm6Er6o.99

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