It’s me again. I changed J’s schedule to this week earlier in the year but then I didn’t realise she is on holidays during this time. So I thought instead of a void, I’ll write something short for this week as a stop gap. Plus I haven’t written in my personal blog for a long time now, so this is me trying to get back into things. (I apologise to my loyal reader of one that I’ve been away for so long. I endeavour to do better!)
For maybe the past year or two, I’ve started to jokingly say how old I am, even though mentally I don’t really feel like I am my biological age. But there was one aspect of my life that I do think makes me older than what I am, and that is this feeling of stagnation. That was during my quarter life crisis not too long ago which lasted for months and months, or maybe even years.
This is what old people feel like, right? Just day in, day out, doing whatever is required to get through the day. Then you go home, eat dinner, watch whatever garbage is on television, go to sleep, then rinse and repeat. To the point where days blend together, and weeks fly by without having much change. There is no purpose or an end (other than death, which most people don’t think about). That’s how I felt for a long while but I didn’t realise it.
I talked to a lot of friends about the big question – life. I browsed the interweb for many days and nights, trying desperately to see if somebody, anybody, can give me an instruction booklet on how to “do life”. Alas, nobody seemed to have an answer. There didn’t seem to be any correct answers either.
But one day, I was talking to a friend and they showed me this video of a navy telling me that the most important thing he does each day is to fold his blankets each morning after he wakes up. Say what? That’s the most important thing a navy does with his day? But do you know what his reasoning was? It’s that if you start your day by completing this simple task, even if you come back by the end of the day having the shittiest time possible, at least you’ll a small sense of accomplishment when you see the neatly folded blanket waiting for you as you get into bed.
My mum used to tell me to fold my blankets all the time and I always used to say why bother because you’ll just get back in and mess it up at the end of the day. After watching that video, I decided that I was going to give this a go so the next day, I folded my blanket (like my mum always told me to). The day after, I did the same. The day after that, I might have skipped it. But eventually, starting from the little nagging voice in my head, I developed the habit of folding my blanket every day. I never really assessed the impact of this small action but I do feel like all is right whenever I come back home and see that my blanket is neatly folded on my bed.
There are a few other examples of small things I nagged myself into doing (for example, daily flossing, which has led to the tangible benefit of less frequent dentist visits and getting praise from the dentist about how good I look after my teeth) which has led to little strides of accomplishment.
One day, I came to realise that my quarter life crisis stemmed in part from my feeling of not having achieved much of anything. And after all my little experimentations, I also realised that sometimes, it doesn’t have to be big, bold changes that will lead to improvements in our lives. It could be as simple as putting the dishes away as soon as they dry.
Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big, that we fail to notice the little things that give life its magic.