“Accustomed” : Yes I am.

We are creatures of habit.  I’m a creature of habit and once you’re accustomed to something, changes affect you whether you realize it or not.   Moving house this time I realized for the first time how one could get accustomed to living with ‘noise’ in centre city.  

I lived at my condo for a decade, next to the skytrain and a busy main road.  Though the walls were thick and not a sound could be heard from neighbours, sound waves travelled up almost 20 stories to my window.  Sitting my room, I’d hear sounds of the skytrain rolling by until late at night.  Sounds of motorcycles and cars zooming by seem to somehow travel upwards and straight to my window.  During New Years, if the office building opposite me had a party, I could hear the karaoke and the announcements.  Sounds of construction across the road penetrated my wall of glass. They all became background noise that I didn’t care about.

At this new place, I’ve had to spend almost a week adjusting not to the ‘noise’ but to the ‘quietness’ that surrounds this house.    Loving the silence, I never realized it would result in my tossing and turning in bed.  It did. It is quiet here, so quiet I can hear myself breathe and the sound of the clock ticking seems to send shockwaves through the air.  It’s just me and the sound of the clock ticking.  It felt strange this new silence.

Now I understand the funny story of neighbourhood complaints upon the moving of our international airport a few years back.  Residents who lived by the former airport complained that it was too quiet, and residents by the new airport complain it was too noisy.  We are never satisfied are we?

I guess afterall this, it just shows us that we are creatures of habit.  What once was new and unfamiliar takes time to adjust.  It makes us uncomfortable.  However,  once adjusted, we become happy and settle into our new comfort zone.  We grow to like it, until one day we have to change again.  That is life.  Forever changing, forever adjusting.  Embrace each change, for one day it will then become a habit.

A decade of memories……or junk?

After a decade of living in this apartment, I am moving house.  It feels surreal as I go through my belongings and throw away things I’ve kept for far longer than I should have.  Moving is good.  It keeps one energized and stimulated eventhough it’s so tiring you forget where your days went.  Moving gives us an opportunity to go through our things and throw away the “excesses” and things that are no longer functioning.

Moving this time I’ve learnt that I am a great hoarder of plastic bags, paper bags and now canvas bags.  You name it. I have every kind of bag you could possibly want.  I’ve got the tiniest paper bags to the biggest plastic bag you’ve ever seen. I got bags from different countries, continents and different designs.  Different versions from the same shop even.  Wow, I wonder if I am saving them to have a museum of shopping bags?

I am not going to collect them anymore though.   I’ve learnt my lesson.

I bought some large black garbage bags this time and they are wonderful.  As Alex says, once you throw things inside them, you never see it again so it doesn’t tempt you to take it out and mourn over it.  I’ve used about half a dozen so far.

I filled up one entirely with my bag collection. Others with magazines, letters, bills.  I realize I’ve killed many trees in my lifetime. I hope some of this trash gets recycled.  Others I fill with cassette tapes.  That’s right..Cassette tapes and vdos.  Ten years ago, we still used them to listen to music. Now everything is on mp3 and mp4.  Movies on DVD.  I don’t even have a cassette tape player anymore and my vdo machine hasn’t been used in years.  Instead I just have an ipod filled with over a thousand songs.  I love it.

After all this, my tip to everyone is to at least once a year, buy some large black garbage bags and go through your drawers, shelves, coffee tables and closets.  Throw out things you have not touched in at least a year.  As one my readers recommend, put them into a box, label them with a date and if you don’t find yourself needing anything from it after a certain period of time, throw it away!

Don’t keep everything just for memory sake like I do! The memory is in your head…if you keep everything, you won’t be able to find it when the need arises.  Happy cleaning!