Sunday, 10 February 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!!! - Of Ang Pows & Spring Cleaning, Especially the Latter.

新年快樂!!! 
希望在新的農曆年裡,大家會過得順順利利,平平安安!
愿大家心想事成!!!

For the sake of my non-Chinese-literate, or those who can't really read Chinese well, that was me wishing everyone a very happy lunar new year, and that life this year (and beyond, of course) will be smooth-sailing and safe. 

Chinese New Year is THE biggest event for most Chinese families, especially here in Singapore. I haven't really lived anywhere else so I can't speak for my counterparts in other countries, but I can definitely say CNY supercedes any other event for the Chinese here. Yes, even Christmas, though we feel it the Christmas spirit here too, just not as strong. 

Christmas is something the younger generation celebrates. Ask my Ah Gong and Ah Ma to sit down and sing carols and eat turkey and prepare gifts...stuff like that? Nah~ Usually for Xmas we are the ones preparing, and we invite them and they just come and eat. 

For CNY? Whoa~ They go all out with the food preparation, the kuehs, the steamboat (or what, as I learnt earlier this morning from my very angmor-pai bf, the westerners know better as "hotpot), buying loads of abalone, new year fish which I never knew the name to, the "guay ji" (melon seeds), love letters (spring rolls), pineapple tarts, and how can we forget this...bak kwa~ 


Ang Pow Giving 101
Oh and days (sometimes even weeks) before the main event, the folks would make a trip to the bank to get notes for ang-pow-packing. So they can do the proper categorizing of which ang pows to pack for who - the $4-ones for the not-so-close-whoever's-children, the $10 for the slightly more familiar kids, the $20 for the close relatives and close friends' children, the $60/80/$100/more for the grandchild/daughter/son/someone who means so much more. Basically the amount increases with the importance of said recipient. And of course it depends on financial ability of the ang pow giver. 

Being Chinese though, we care about this thing known as "face", or what is better known as pride. Even if a family is not doing too well, most people wouldn't want other people to know about their plight and give a minimum $4 or more. (Or $6 if they find 4 an unlucky number because it sounds like "die" in Chinese.) So far I've never received a $2 ang pow. Those are really rare. At least to me. 


Spring Cleaning
The last few days have been really crazy. Mum has been decorating the house and the corridor with flowers and those Chinese New Year things. She's probably made at least 20 trips to the florist (do we still call them florist if they span across acres?) to pick the flowers, and she ordered the bak kwa weeks ago for collection last week. Talk about being prepared. Lol. Just look at her effort -

She made these from just flower stalks, 4 green sponge balls (for sticking the flowers in), and red cloth. I love how she, amidst running a business, can find the time to balance her social life, parents, children, housework, and make extra time to liven up the CNY atmosphere with decorations. 贊!
(It looked so grand that some people actually thought there was a wedding happening. Lol!)

Spring cleaning is a tradition for chinese new year. It's our way of getting rid of the old to welcome the new. It's the time we throw away junk that prevents us from moving forward. It starts from the house, though I recommend a good spring cleaning from the inside. It doesn't just include your health, if you have any emotional excess baggage, throw them out too. Delete your ex's phone number. Throw away or delete all old photos, letters, anything that prevents you from moving forward. Trust me, it will be hard (just like throwing things out from your room), but it bloody works. *winks*

I'll touch on that another time, and start on something everything can relate to - your room. In this case, my room. 

My room. Oh yes my room. Let's have a tour how it looked like prior to spring cleaning. There was a reason why I decided for February's Resolutions to revolve around organizing. Scroll on...

 A huge mess upon entering. I got very stressed each time I enter my room, and that was when I knew I needed to do something. I have been taking care of my health, but if I didn't do something about my environment my health won't be too good either. The bedroom is for replenishing the soul. 

That...was pure junk for my soul.

And behind the door....

*screams* 
I need to find a way to organize bags. I swap bags almost on a daily basis, and it's quite troublesome to keep them away after I use one. 

I built this shelf thinking that I would love to display stuff on it. Bleah...turned out to be a dumping ground for boxes. In no particular order.

The thing about huge horizontal space is everything tends to land there. 
I didn't even want to look at the shelf on the side...

Even Alton feels sian. Lol. Cos he always has to find a way to maneuver my room. You'll see what I mean later...

 The bedside table, and the book I'm currently on - The Happiness Project. I owe my monthly resolutions to the author of this book. Thank you Gretchen!!!

This aisle is basically unpassable. Which means Alton can't rest here, but he tried so very often to squeeze under the bed from here. Lol~!


After Spring-Cleaning
The shelves on top have been rearranged, though I'm not completely satisfied with it yet. 
For now, that will do. 


Before                                                    After

I haven't quite found a way to deal with the bags yet, but that will come, and I promise a room tour when that happens. =)

I've rearranged my bookshelf such that the books are arranged by category.


 The left side where I'm at the most needs some more work though I have yet to figure out what. But all in all, this is a huge improvement from before, no?

Recap:



Recap:

I am so proud can???!!!! And I feel goooood~~~~



All my perfumes, cow banks, and a photo frame of my and my sister. Within the left drawer are my candles, and the right one my facial mask sheets. The boxes on the left which look like books hold various items which I will talk about another time. 

 Beside the drawer is this. It's sort of like a nice place for the yummy-smelling candles and assorted pretty stuff.

 The work desk which still needs a little bit of work. I have yet to find a home for every single thing/document. The best part about organizing is allocating a very specific place for specific items so you know exactly how to tell your Mum over the phone that the spare camera battery is "on the second shelf by the desk in the black box marked Gadgets".

Even my wardrobe door is clean. The only thing hanging out is what I'm going to wear later for visiting. 

My floor beside the bed. *so so so so proud*

Inner calm. Ah~~~ *breathes* ^.^

I hope you have spring-cleaned your home, or at least your room, for Chinese New Year. If you haven't for 2013 yet, just try it. I GUARANTEE that nothing will give you more satisfaction and immediate gratification than clearing out 2 huge bags of rubbish. Just try it with your medicine cabinet or makeup dresser/pouch/area. It's super shiok lor! 

I'm setting aside 15 - 30 minutes every night before I sleep to put things away back to their homes. That will help to keep everything organized. Being really neat is not my forte, nor did I grow up that way. I grew up being used to what I call "organized chaos", but cleaning up and seeing empty spaces pop up really makes me feel so good every time, I kind of enjoy cleaning up and organizing now. 

Keyword: Be ruthless. If it hasn't served you in the last 1-2 years, dump it. Hello? If you don't see yourself going anywhere with the person you're dating, will you continue the relationship? 长痛不如短痛, let it go. So that something, or someone, more suitable (notice I didn't say "better") has a chance to enter your life. ;)

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