a tale of two hands (and a toothbrush)

I think there are certain things that we do all the time that we never question, or never stop to wonder about. For me, I’m quite likely to question and wonder about these things eventually. It might take years and years, but one day, maybe in a half-awake daze, I’ll wonder, “why is it that I do this like this?”

One such habit that has come under scrutiny is the way I rinse my toothbrush after using it. (Can you tell this is going to be a riveting post?)

Firstly, a bit of background: I’m right-handed. When I was a kid, I tried to learn to be ambidextrous, but that proved too hard. I can write very slowly with my left hand, and also use chopsticks left-handed, so that’s something, but I generally leave everything up to the right hand.

That is, everything except rinsing my toothbrush.

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sauce wisdom

When I was younger, my dad and his siblings ran a restaurant. It wasn’t anything fancy — a step above fast food but not fine dining. When it was busy on week-ends, my sister and I would help out with serving tables, packing delivery orders, and basic kitchen tasks.

The other day, while I was eating lunch at work, a random memory emerged for contemplation. It’s one of those things that seem insignificant, but has nonetheless been locked in my memory for some unknown reason.

This memory was just one particular moment — an instruction I had received. I think it was one of my uncles who said this, but it could have been my auntie. But the source of this wisdom is not exactly as important as the wisdom itself. (I’m sure they all shared the same wisdom anyway.)

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from compost to fruit

Somewhere toward the end of last year — perhaps in October — we buried some pith and seeds in the compost heap, not expecting it to do anything other than decompose and rot like everything else in there (apart from the pumpkin seeds, which really don’t need much encouraging at all in order to sprout and grow).

Weeks passed, and we added more food scraps to the heap, forgetting with every addition what was already in there. But then, in the second half of November, something sprouted near the edge of the heap — something that didn’t seem like a weed (or at least not like the weeds we were familiar with). We left it there, sprouting out of the compost heap, to see what it would become.

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this is not a competition

We are often warned not to take social media too seriously. People often selectively share life events on the good to amazing scale, and leave out the mundane to disastrous. Looking at the social media of one’s friends might lead one to believe that everyone has the cutest, most well-behaved kids; or that they are always getting flowers and presents from people; or that they frequently go to the beach, where they enjoy picnics with elaborate charcuterie platters.

I’m sure this is all very obvious to my readership and to most of my friends, and there’s no need to warn any of you about this; but while I thought I was also above this petty social media envy, I realised the other day that I am, quite possibly, not totally immune.

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