December 11


Indulging in Unfashionable Things

By Odyssa

December 11, 2022

Today is Sunday in Hanoi. The season is winter. 

Coming from the Philippines, I should welcome and enjoy the low temperature. But lately, all I do is hide myself under the blanket with a book. 

Friends said it will be like this for a couple of months. I'm not desperate for summer and I don't dislike the cold. But there are more days when I dread going to the shower.

Anything below 20C is cold for my tiny Filipino body. 

Walking under a cold morning

There are several truths I cannot avoid, things I can't hide from no matter how cold it gets. There are people to talk to, jobs to attend to, deadlines to meet.

Just like you, I have obligations that I can never escape from.

Setting the important aside, there were several unfashionable things that took  all of my focus today while wearing chunky socks and a thick, long coat. 

I cleared the kitchen, put things in the right drawers, folded newly washed clothes, identified which items can be given away to friends. Wrote this blog post. Went for a massage. Bought six muffins from the supermarket. 

Photo of buildings

While I was taking my newly dried clothes from my building's rooftop, I stepped aside to look at the view.

A feeling of solace came after, as if I accomplished something worth celebrating when I only did chores. 

Chores are not considered "big things" but they consume and fill our time. We never get paid to do them like what our jobs do for us, but they are significant enough to drive us crazy if they're not done. 

Imagine leaving unwashed dishes on your sink for an entire weekend.

Chores belong to the ordinary. To the humdrum of life. No award is given for arranging the shelves and sweeping the floor. The only reward is having a tidy place. 

These unfashionable things keep our home - our lives - in order. And when things are in order, our thoughts follow.  

When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.  -Mari Kondo

When we engage in these unfashionable, dull things, we can go back to bed thinking "I took good care of myself today."

It's a powerful thought to end any day. 

These are articles I wrote about tidying up:

Life-Changing Lessons From Marie Kondo

3 Books to Kickstart Your Minimalism Goals

The Question You Should Ask Yourself Today


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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