The Life-Changing Magic of Messing up (Your Shelf)

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Shelf.

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Canada Blooms Festival. Photo credit: Mia Xing
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Canada Blooms Festival. Photo credit: Mia Xing

The daily prompt today gave me a sense of guilt.

Even Shakira going “I messed up tonight… I want to try everything even though I could fail” (“Try Everything”) could not justify anything. And Meghan Trainor was pretty much singing “Don’t think about it/Just move your body” (“Better When I’m Dancing”) in my earbuds to no avail.

The word “shelf” conjures up a collage of books, tidiness, and the famous Japanese book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”… which is the exact antithesis of what my day was today.

Okay, I did not mess up my day de facto. I just had a really fun, jazzed-up day. Volunteering at the Royal Ontario Museum in the morning, the Canada Blooms Festival with my dad in the afternoon, and then savoury crêpes at an awesome place called Muncheez at 9pm for dinner. It was loads of fun and discoveries, just nothing to do with books or studying.

I mean, I did read a few pages of Lolita at lunch and before our super-late dinner, and hit a quite interesting plot twist, but it was really just a pathetic little amount of pages. And needless to say, I did not write, nor practice my French speech, nor do any work from school.

If we use the quite lame analogy of our life being a shelf, my shelf labelled TODAY is devoid of books,- instead someone threw in some food and some… mosses and flowers and succulents.

And this somehow scares me. As much as I claim to love adventures and as much as I actually do, not dedicating a decent proportion of my “shelf” to neat books and studying feels somewhat weird. It’s not that I am super nerdy or anything, but my initial plan for this March break is that I’ll have a few days for volunteering, a few days for traveling, and a few days for some “lite-studying”, writing and quietness. The volunteering is going strong. The traveling is coming up in a few days, and trust me, when I travel, I travel. It is one of the occasions in my life where I never feel guilty about not reading, writing or doing “serious” stuff.

So… the only thing  missing is the “lite-studying”, writing and quietness time slot.

Therefore, to at least make it up in some way, I decided that I would just write some gibberish tonight using the daily prompt, even though it is 11pm already. Looking back with (a bit of) remorse, it was a fun day. I learned some sparkling great things at the museum,- I learned both about the items on display, and the people I was working with. The flower/gardening festival was a fragrant, refreshing and eye-opening experience. I have never seen such professional gardening works before. And the crêpes! Oh the crêpes! Muncheez is a legendary place,- all of its 150 reviews on Yelp are 5-star. Legendary food, legendary ambiance, legendary service, and I went home with a legendarily-full stomach.

It was a nicely-mess-up day. Or let’s use a different shelf analogy. My life is the shelf. It is filled with books. I usually pick and read a serious book from it everyday, but today I decided I would read only teenage magazines and mangas. And now at the end of the day, I was feeling kind of guilty.

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Muncheez is a crêpe place on Yonge St. Phto credit: Mia Xing
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The music of gardening. Photo credit: Mia Xing
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Art is abloom. Photo credit: Mia Xing

But we need to also keep in kind that everything you come across has its values. Teenage magazines might plant some fashion tips into your head without you even knowing, or mangas might secretly plant some crazy creative-writing ideas into you. Hmmm.

I had fun today, I tried a lot of new things and I spent some solid time with my Dad. And now I am almost finishing a not-so-solid blog post. My day might actually HAVE been a bad plan, a faux pas, but you know, messy things are kinda trendy these days.

Oh, and I just realized, weren’t the flowers and the deli menus, in fact, placed on shelves, too? You see, there is a certain magic to the art of messing/jazzing things up.


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