A loose chair wheel

Imagine an office armchair, with clothed cushion seats, a high backrest enough to support my resting head. Armrests are made of plastic, and five roller wheels below the seat spreaded out on the tips of a five spoke star. That is my armchair. There is one more detail, one of the five wheel came loose and dropped out of its socket. Whenever the wheel pops out, it is just a simple matter of slotting it back into the socket. But it is in no way a permanent fixture. At least three times a day, the wheel will pop, echoed by the crack of plastic against metal. And every time it does, the armchair will momentarily lose its balance due to a shift in its centre of gravity. Dangerous as it is, I’ve learnt to get used to it and adapt my reflexes to counter the tendency to fall. Slowly but surely, the five spoke star is failing, as evident from the increased frequency of the popping wheel. The stained cushioned seats and dust acculmulated in each crevice points to a visibly aging chair. The loose wheel just adds weight to such a foregone conclusion. Amidst the encouraging creaks from its plastic and wooden support, is it time to look up and ahead? Is it finally time to get a new chair?

I think this is very analogous to many aspects of life. Take for example, spring cleaning. The old armchair is the old books on my bookshelf and the old notes on the floor. I, for one, keeps alot of old books, many dating back to my primary sch days. And many many piles of notes from secondary sch and JC. Each time I do spring cleaning, I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away because I thot it would be a waste. Instead, I learnt to live with it, stuff it in boxes, under the table, under the bed, inside cupboards, drawers, above the wardrobe, everywhere. And each year, as more notes arrive, I just find new space for them. But we all know that a HDB bedroom is only so big, space is not an infinite resource, it’ll run out soon. And it did. About a year ago, I embarked on a new hobby that would be scale modelling. It deals with building plastic models and painting them to replicate the real life version. As I buy more and more plastic models, they start competing for space with these age-old books and notes. If I dun throw out my old books, I’ll never be able to make space for my model kits. I’ll not be able to pursue my hobby. Is it time to look up and ahead? Is it finally time to throw out the old books?

I think this applies to work as well. I shall not outline any analogy here, I think the reader can do it himself/herself. I think the key point here is learning when to draw the line. Persistance is a virtue. To fix a problem, to improve a situation, to adapt to the environment are all virtues. It’s good if there are signs of improvement, but if things continues to go downhill even after immense efforts of rectification, then it’s time to look up and ahead. My chair is failing, it’s time to get a new chair. For my new house.



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