Today is a restful day without the kids as they are away at Daddy's.
It is literally a spring cleaning day for us, taking the opportunity to clean and clear things that we couldn't possibly do in peace with the children underfoot.
It reminded me of the times when I was in school and we would be having our weekly house cleaning day, the inspection that followed which will lead to being awarded points that will then be added up to our academic and sports achievements for the competition between houses for the Best House award at year end.
It became my home for most of my growing up years, and despite having moved on with my life, I sometimes find myself going back to look it up from time to time, which is truly unlike me.
That was the place where I first learned how to be an independent person - I washed my own clothes and school shoes, learned how to iron my school uniform properly (I never bothered with the rest of my clothes), do my own bed in the mornings, and scrubbing toilets every month when it came to our turn during the weekly house cleaning exercise.
It was also the place where I began to explore my creative side.
While other girls vie for places in performances, I tended to prefer the making up of costumes and stage props.
While the girls were busy connecting with other schools, hosting visits from other schools and getting all excited with school outings, I took any opportunity to sleep in as heaven sent.
The only time I was involved in any social event was a day when we were invited to too many schools and there were not enough senior girls to go to all the places at the same time, so I was told to spruce up and be sociable because a military school was hosting us girls for the day.
I took a book, about Stalin's life if I was not mistaken, just in case I needed to read a book to pass the time.
It wasn't a disastrous outing, but I was on my best behaviour and kept mostly quiet and nodded at everything.
I bet the boy who was my attendant that day thought I was the most uninteresting and vapid girl he had the misfortune to attend to.
Life at school was very regimented; there was a bell for everything, and we were only allowed to wear jeans on Sunday - imagine a teenager not allowed to wear jeans every hour of the day, let alone modifying them with our personal stamp of creative self-expression.
The days were full of activities, the nights were largely reserved for study, the weekends for personal recreation and rest.
I was also a loner, in the sense that friendships formed in school stayed there and never strayed into my personal life - I never shared stories of my family with school friends and I rarely talk about school friends at home.
It wasn't like I wasn't involved with all the usual activities - I was very enthusiastic when it came to cheering for the school whenever there was a home game, or when our debate teams won prestigious competitions.
I just never had BFFs or even a clique.
It was really weird that I never formed any lasting friendships from my school years considering that I spent more time with those girls than I did with my own family during those years.
I even stayed at the dorms during holiday breaks as going home for public holidays would not be practical for me.
Maybe because from the very beginning I was reminded of what my goal was, and it wasn't to look for friendships, although I doubt that was what my dad wanted of me.
My dad's words to me before he left on that morning of registration stayed with me until today,
"... the only reason you are going to this school, so far from home, is because it is a privilege to be chosen to study in the best school in this country so you must study hard, discover your potential, do not stray from that, do not get distracted from your goal, to be the best that you can be ..."
Maybe I just took it too far.
Or maybe I was just a weird kid and grew up to be a weird person.
But I did very well, academically and I admit that I learned a lot about being focused, about being disciplined and about striving to excel in everything that we do.
That was what my alma mater was all about, life long excellence.
But now those school buildings are now occupied by another school and it is rather strange and sad seeing some of those buildings being called by a different name ... okay I confess, I looked up that school's facebook.
I bet the dorms have different names too.
I stopped going further because somehow it is just uncomfortable to realise how affected I am to know that the school where I grew up in looks the same but is no longer the same and that the connection is now truly dead.
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