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Bon Journal

Hammock wisdom

What a joy it is to sit outside with my mug on my newly varnished garden table. What a joy it is to lie in my Mexican hammock when the sun got too strong. What a joy it is, indeed, to read frivolously.

The latest issue of Business Week contains some interesting reading. On page 10 of the European edition (3 Sept 2001), it summarises a recent study in the American Economic Review. The cleaner people's houses were, the higher their earnings were 25 years later. Kids from cleaner homes tended to go further in school and to earn more in their future jobs. Thus "as ye sweep, so shall ye reap."

Thinking back to my childhood, I recall that my sister's room was the cleanest for she was not materialistic while growing up and spent most of her time doodling (drawing). My brother's room was the messiest as he was interested in so many things. My room had a tendency to become chaotic, but my desire for order gave me the discipline to organise and clear up every week. But the degree of tidiness in our respective rooms seems to have an opposite effect on our current incomes. I spend all my time trying to catch up. My sister spends all her time painting. And my brother? He has the weekend to sleep and do anything he wants.

Another story in the same issue reports a growing trend of obesity in Australians, particularly diabetes in overweight couch potato kids. Working parents are too busy to watch over their children who are afraid to walk home from school. So the result is that they get fetched home in cars, watch TV, play computer games, and follow sedentary lifestyles. It's quite alarming.

When I think back to my childhood, we were never allowed to watch much television. My mother was always around to make sure that we didn't exceed our weekly dose. In Okinawa where we grew up, there was only one English channel - the remaining three or four were Japanese which we didn't understand. So it wasn't exactly "exciting" or "addictive" to watch TV. Even now, I don't own a TV, much less have the time to watch it.

Ah! The sun has now become too hot. I'm no longer in the shade. And it's a sign that I should get up and start the day. A long outstanding list awaits me: the dreaded income tax assessment, getting rid of things to make room for a blender and a sewing machine (which I had promised myself as a reward for good discipline), potting new spider plant and money plant cuttings, cleaning up my garden, and trying out new recipes. The three day weekend by myself has only just begun!

25 August 2001

In Okinawa, as clear as day
Okinawa, summer 1986
sibling pictures