Saturday, February 25, 2006


I grew up in a tidy house. Everything was shipshape and had its place. No one would dream of disturbing the order. We didn’t know any different.
Only when I moved away to go to university did I discover I am not a neat person myself. I would stack the dirty dishes day after day, until I had run out of clean ones. On my desk lay an ever-growing pile of papers and books. Vacuuming would be done once a month. The only relatively tidy place was my bed, which I made every day.
Things have improved since then, but not dramatically. I am just not a very orderly person. For a long time I felt that as a shortcoming, a minor sin. Until we met the P’s: warm, jolly people, two feet on the ground. Lovely friends. And untidy! Their house was even more of a mess than ours, and they seemed to feel perfectly at ease with it. I learnt then that untidiness is not a sin after all. It is a character trait, not a convenient one at times, but no more than that. Now that I have accepted it, it is easier to find ways to minimize the inconvenience. To see it as a pitfall, of which I don’t need to be ashamed; to laugh at my own shortcomings; to warn people that I am not very well organized, and that they may point it out to me, when I have missed something important.
It has made my life a whole lot easier, and better organized into the bargain!

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