The following was a letter to a friend who didn’t like doing administrative things in his life.
You know the happiest thing about living alone, running a family or not, without parents? Admin. It’s most time wasting thing, the lowest value and the most outsourceable thing in our lives, but doing it (effectively) give you a sense of calm, a sense of self love, self sayang.
Nobody can dictate how sharp your shirt is if you iron it yourself, or even the position on the cloth drying pole to maximize drying. You run your own system of managing trash, keeping plastic bags to ensure constant supply of trash bags, and fight that cockroach coming out of the chute with your bag of trash every day. You decide how much water to drip into the plant outside or at the balcony, and watch it grow, experiment with some fertilisers, and some times when leaves turn yellow, you prune it yourself to keep it going. It goes on, sweep the floor, do the dishes, vacuum the carpet, decorate the shelves, maybe even cook.
For the Admin of life is you. People don’t just see your well shaven jaw, properly waxed hair, sufficient manly tan or even, that tooth that gave you a new smile. People also see the maid cooked bland dinner you just ate, the mess in the room you woke up from, the plant or pet you just killed from a week of draught. But what people see isn’t as important as what you see.
Numerous self-help books glorify the idea of pruning away everything you need to do in life to take care of yourself, so that you can just enjoy and waste away. They forget, that if happiness cannot occur naturally, then it’s forced and needs to be created. When I was young I thought playing lego was a happy thing. But I didn’t actually feel happy, I was just escaping all the hustle and bustle in the living room. I had to Play the lego, build to completion to get a bit of satisfaction, and then quickly the feeling is gone and I leave. Later in life, I found that by simply picking up the broom and mindlessly ensure that there’s no dirt on the floor, I always put on a smile when i hang around my room, without needing any prize to show others.
By taking care of yourself, you take care of the feelings of others who cares for you too, and that adds to the happy thing. Yes time is important, which makes it even more important to ensure Admin is done effectively and swiftly. But that’s self-fulfilling isn’t it? You’ll finish your Admin in 30 minutes and marvelled at your own effectiveness. Some days my wife comes out of the kitchen with a happy face as she couldn’t believe she could cook under such time constraints.
Have a good time doing Admin work!
Reproduced in public. Do you agree?