Festive Joy

Chinese New Year brings much festive joy. With the annual gatherings of family and friends, feasting, dressing up in new clothes, and the collecting of Ang Baos (red packets), what is there not to like?

I personally love the Chinese New Year period, because it’s the only real holiday I get from work. When I’m filming, there are no weekends and there are no such things as public holidays. So this is the best time to actually chill, laze at home and spend time with family.

However, I do think the real stress comes in before CNY. Everyone fusses about getting new clothes, decorating the house and spring cleaning. So how do I deal with it when I’m probably working right up till the eve of CNY?

I usually have a stash of new clothes that I’ve acquired over the past few months, never having a chance to wear them, so the clothes department is taken care of. I stay on my own, so I don’t really fuss over decorations, thus no stress there. As for spring cleaning, I usually just try to hide my things so it is out of sight right until the 15 days are over.

Don’t get me wrong! I love packing! If anything at all, I think tidying and cleaning up are the most therapeutic measures for me. But I don’t have the luxury of time to do just that, or so I thought. It was only until a friend actually introduced a book of Decluttering to me that I had a sudden rush of adrenaline to work through the wee hours of the night to do a thorough house-cleanse.

“The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Also known as the Kon-Mari Method – the art of decluttering. I read through the entire book and it finally dawned on me that my idea of packing was all along.. well.. pointless. I was hoarding and cluttering my home with stuff that I didn’t need or didn’t want, without even realizing it myself.

Marie Kondo talks about how you assess your belongings on whether it brings you joy and happiness, and that is the only factor you consider before you decide if it goes or it stays. It sounds a little out of whack when she says you should talk to your belongings like they had a life of their own. But after awhile, you seem to be drawn in to the idea of doing just that and soon enough, you find your pad filled with only the things that make you joyous.

So yes! I’ve done the most thorough and successful spring cleaning in my entire life. I got rid of 25 trash bags worth of things. And I ushered in the Lunar New Year with lots of joy!