I am not going to lie… going out to mark today feels extremely pathetic and miserable. What’s wrong with you, hoshao!
Here comes the Chinese New Year break and many of us are thankful for the extended weekend up to Tuesday. It is tradition to have our family reunion dinners and familial and social gatherings during the first few days of the Lunar New Year, and needless to say, there were gatherings aplenty during the past few days at home.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not dislike family reunions or social gatherings. I think they can be very heartwarming and meaningful ways to spend your time, especially if the guest and host are genuinely and sincerely keen on wishing each other well this season. Which probably explains why I feel so bad and miserable having “work” sit like a stubborn mule in my head when I visit my relatives or have guests over at home.
I have not reached the point where all reunion dinners are meaningless and I look upon them with selfish disdain and cynicism. But I have reached the point where I realised how much I value my own personal space. Is it problematic that it has become a burden being at home the entire day with the whole family?
We wait around for everyone to wake up and have breakfast together, talk about the latest news reports in the papers, then every hour or so there is a phone-call that keeps one engaged in conversation for a few minutes, the television set in the family hall is switched on for hours on end because well, there are plenty of shows to watch (isn’t there? – well, no, there isn’t.), and someone is always playing the piano because well, it’s the holiday and when else can we afford time to practice our skill? Then suddenly guests pop by to visit mum – which is sweet but kinda irritating when they are unexpected.
So late this afternoon I decided to carve out some personal space for myself and packed and headed for the nearest shopping mall … with my marking in a second bag. I met a friend of a friend along the way, and he was nicely decked out in a checked pink top and pressed pants, and said he was going to visit his girlfriend’s family for the New Year. How sweet! In return, I said, “I am going to J8… to do some marking.” Which served as a really pathetic and awful response, honestly, to someone looking all handsome and suave ready to do some New Year visitation.
Nonetheless, if I had not gone out for a bit to finish some marking and take some time to breathe the outside air and talk to myself outside, I would probably be driven much closer to insanity this evening. I have come to realise how much I value and treasure my personal time and space. So much that even family cannot penetrate that space no more.