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A cluttered life of distractions and chaos

This entry could also be titled "A chaotic life of distraction and clutter" or "A distracting life of chaos and clutter" --- the essential ingredients being clutter, distraction, and chaos.

It's the worst of all worlds for someone who prefers, and more importantly, requires order and focus.

When I visited my relatives in Taiwan, I noticed the prominence of the television in their lives. The TV is switched on almost all the time. Their eyes are glued to the TV and their ears tuned to it. Some folks live by what appears on TV. The world revolves around the TV.

Another thing I noticed was the chaos called clutter. Clutter is everywhere. It's a sign of lack of decision making, lack of leadership, lack of commitment. Or simply, laziness. Clutter is a sign of a chaotic life. Chaos comes from clutter.

The phone rings. It's someone selling pensions, mortgages, or other unwanted nuisance. If you think e-mail spam is bad, try living with telephone spam. You can't hang up all phone calls. Some might be genuine. Telephone spam, TV advertisements, newspaper ads, door-to-door salesmen ---- these are all distractions that contribute to a cluttered life.

Few homes have a sense of aesthetic, that appreciation of beauty which comes from a decluttered existence without distraction or chaos. Fortunately my two aunts, both retired, are able to live in such minimalistic but visually pleasing environments. They have learned that less is more and that quality is superior to quantity.

For the majority of my relatives, however, the opposite is true. Does clutter come from their proneness to hoarding, the kia-soo (afraid of losing out) mentality, or simply no discipline? They have bedrooms designated for storage rather than for living. Although it is an eyesore for me, I am sure they are comfortable in their clutter.

Families with children understandably have a higher tolerance for clutter and chaos. Children accumulate clutter. It's hard to control them, and chaos erupts. Children are also a source of distraction for their parents. They interrupt and they distract. All of this contributes to a cluttered life of chaos and distraction.

So what's my point? I am the type of person who cannot begin to work unless everything is clean and orderly. So there are two options for me --- either I get paid to clear and clean the place OR I live in an environment which is not prone to clutter, chaos, or distraction.

13 May 2004 Thursday

Related links & entries:
Decluttering and letting go of clutter, Le Bon Journal newsletter, Vol 2 Issue 8, 2 page PDF
Drowning in clutter - 1
Drowning in clutter - 2
Drowning in clutter - 3
Drowning in clutter - 4
Physical clutter and mental space
The urge to purge
The stages of decluttering
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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