Ring in the 2019 Chinese New Year With a Dose of Deep Cleaning

Chinese New Year Year of the Pig
2019 Chinese New Year Greeting Card. Year of The Pig.

Move aside, spring cleaning. Since the release of Netflix’s 2018 series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, everyone’s been on the move to start deep cleaning. Today. In fact, Buzzfeed reported that the series even sparked a rise in donations in thrift stores across the nation.

With the beginning of Chinese New Year Feb. 5, 2019, there’s no better way to ring in the Year of the Pig by continuing the tradition of keeping your living space clean. Most start the cleaning in the days leading up to New Year’s Day, but it’s always good to jump in if you’re wanting to tidy up your life. There’s never a bad time to try and cleanse your house, your soul and your mind.

While you’re busy cleaning, you can also throw in some feng shui in order to really bring peace into your home for the rest of the year. But if you’re not sure where to start, here some unique ways to keep your home neat, stay lucky and full of positive energy in the Year of the Pig.

Start with the wardrobe.

Just like Marie Kondo said, does it spark joy? If it doesn’t, you probably don’t need it. Cleaning out your wardrobe should be a huge priority. It’s always good to get rid of things that you haven’t used for over six months to a year.

Don’t continue to hold onto the things that you don’t need. Start switching around your closet so your short-sleeved clothes can be accessed easier and put away heavy jackets that you’re no longer using.

Whatever you’ve decided to give away can be given away to friends, family, or to a thrift store. Other methods of getting rid of old clothes includes selling them on apps like Depop and OfferUp. Once you’ve gone through your closets, you can move onto more extensive deep cleaning.

Getting rid of dust can go a long way.

One of the biggest hassles of a dirty house includes the dust that accumulates over the years. And it’s not like every crevice of the house gets adequate cleaning every single week. That means it’s time to bust out the big guns.

Dust everything including the ceiling, make sure you sweep and after that make sure that you mop, as well as clean the furniture, writes ABS-CBN News. Pay attention to every single room of the house–especially the rooms you inhabit the most such as the kitchen and the bathroom. Once the house is spotless, you’ll feel a lot better. And continuing that cleanliness will ensure that the house stays at peace.

Take a good look at the kitchen.

The kitchen is the most essential part of any house that brings in wealth to a home, meaning you should take exceptionally good care of it, according to Gulf News. It’s the place where everyone gets the nutrition that they need to live.

Don’t hold onto old food and condiments that take up space in your fridge. Those kinds of things are magnets for pools of bacteria. Gulf News reports that many Asian households will have a rice urn on the counter that never goes empty; everything is replaced, things that are uneaten and chipped plates are to be discarded.

When you’ve got things that are broken and stale in your kitchen, it messes with your wealth. The upkeep of your kitchen is imperative to have a successful year.

How to really use feng shui in the house.

Have you reassessed the chi (also known as energy) in your house? Once you’ve begun the cleaning process, you’re well on your way. Next comes the addition of feng shui. Feng shui is a way to practically organize your home in a way that also similarly brings happiness to your life.

A HoustonChronicle.com article with feng shui practitioner Patricia Lohan and interior designers Sophia Vassiliou and Mary Lindsey Wilson offers these key tips to really bring this practice to your home:

  • Start with your front door – Since this is the first thing that anyone’s going to see when they come to your house, it’s incredibly important to make sure it’s cared for properly. If your door is painted a grand color, it actually welcomes guests to your home.
  • Be mindful and self-reflect – Think about how you want to move forward for 2019. Once you’re there, think of how you can apply it to your home in order to better yourself.
  • Work on the bedroom – This is where a majority of your energy is going to reside, so why not treat your room with kindness? Your room should be a place of calm that brings happiness to your life.
  • Position things to optimize your sleeping patterns – If you can’t sleep well, it bring negative energy in your home. Shadows reflected from any mirrors and clutter underneath your bed can impact your sleeping patterns.
  • Letting go is key –  Life is better when you’re minimalistic. Get rid of things you don’t want or figure out how to repurpose them into something that you do want.
  • Choose light colors for your home – Dark colors aren’t good for a house. Bringing in vibrant, light colors brings a sense  of loving into a home. Natural blues and greens are also great in feng shui. Also change out light bulbs in order to improve the lighting of your living space.
  • Fresh plants breathe life into a living space  – Maybe you don’t have a green thumb. But having plants in your home is a great way to bring fresh positivity into your home. It’s  really one of the best ways to dispel negativity.

Last year was the Year of the Dog, which brought about strong dynamics across the world. But for this year, the Year of the Pig is meant to bring a wave of calm over earth, according to Manilla Times. It’s a time of self-examination, strong health and bringing in happiness and wealth. Participating in the art of decluttering is a great way to maintain these important life aspects and bring joy into your life for years to come.

The Final Tumultuous Flight of JFK Jr.

Shock, pain, havoc. Five days of waiting for the worst. A catastrophic plane crash subsequently rocked the core of the United States. July 16, 2019 marks the 20th anniversary since the tragic death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr, his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and her sister Lauren Bessette in 1999.

Kennedy, who was born November 25, 1960, famously attended the funeral of his assassinated father on his third birthday. With a photograph taken by the The New York Times saluting his father’s coffin, Kennedy instantly became the eye of the nation through this heartbreaking but powerful image. At this point in his life, Kennedy had no idea how precious he was to an entire country that adored him.

This man lived his life followed by paparazzi that his wife was wary of. In fact, he made his very first newspaper appearance in the NYT when he was one day old. His life was truly under watchful eyes from the beginning. Although the “crown prince” has been gone for 20 years now, his legacy as the son of America’s most beloved family continues to live on.

And with November we just had the 55th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, it’s important to remind people the kind of impact they had on the nation. As Americans, we will always have a special place in our hearts for decades to come. His last days, recently explored in a documentary by ABC News, brought to light how Kennedy spent these pivotal moments.

The Early Days

Raised in Manhattan with his sister Caroline, Kennedy heartily spent his days with his mother. He graduated from Brown University, had a short affair with acting, then landed at New York University Law School.

“In some respects, I found the most remarkable thing about John was how relatively normal he was despite the fame,” said Richard Wiese, Kennedy’s former fraternity brother at Brown, to ABC.

After a short but successful career as an assistant district attorney, according to History, he founded political magazine George in 1995. It amassed a following of almost a half million people. But the venture ultimately suffered later, according to People magazine.

What made Kennedy different, and arguably more likable by the nation, was the fact that he never took public office. All in all, he was just a wholesome American guy that the whole country seemed to connect to on both sympathetic and empathetic levels.

When Kennedy was assistant district attorney, he was well publicized riding his bike to and from his office that he shared with colleagues.

Michael Gross, a former contributor at George, told ABC that for Kennedy, this job “provided access to real life.”

In 1988, Kennedy was named the “Sexiest Man Alive” by People. The issue has remained one of the magazine’s most popular bestsellers, according to former managing editor Larry Hackett.

“Myself included…friends gave him total crap [about it],” joked Wiese, to ABC.

An incredibly humble man, Kennedy was known for dating countless beautiful celebrities: actress Daryl Hannah for five years, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cindy Crawford, Madonna and more. While he dated quite a few enthralling women, ABC reported that not one ever had anything bad to say about him. Kennedy was just a really good guy.

And then came a passionate, felicitous love–found at a Calvin Klein store in 1992. It was a relationship that everyone became infatuated with.

The Marriage

Carolyn Bessette and Kennedy knew each other for two years before they were married in a secret ceremony in 1996.

“He was very, very much in love with this beautiful girl…who was unknown to the rest of the world,” said Paul Wilmot, a former executive at Calvin Klein, to ABC.

A couple that spent the entirety of their relationship under a magnifying glass, the pair dated briefly in 1993, only to reunite after the passing of Jackie Kennedy Onassis due to non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1994. After her passing, Kennedy did his best to go back to blazing his own personal trail through life. A man with a knack for his adventurous streak, Kennedy was known as a “man in motion,” said Christopher Andersen, author of “The Day John Died.”

Kennedy told Andersen that he continued to stay active because if he didn’t, he would stop and think about everything that’s ever happened to him, then just sit down and fall apart.

1999 is when George took a deep financial hit. It was a struggle to keep the magazine afloat and his marriage together. Known by his friends as “the Master of Disaster,” Kennedy was known for releasing stress through outdoor hobbies that could be easily deemed as dangerous, such as flying.

“Here was a guy who would get in his kayak and play chicken with the Staten Island Ferry,” said Andersen to ABC. “He would, you know, swim toward the horizon and vanish, and his friends would just get ready to call 911 and suddenly, he appeared out of nowhere. Somehow he always managed to show up, safe and sound.”

But on that fateful July day, Kennedy was woefully absent. Something wasn’t right.

The Crash

July 16, 1999: a day where the subsequent reverberations were felt around the nation. Kennedy and the Bessette women die in a single-engine plane that Kennedy was controlling in hazy conditions. The plane went right into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. A huge search effort was orchestrated but it was disbanded to no avail. Finally, their bodies were found in the broken plane on July 21 by U.S. Navy divers. As for the plane, it was found 116 feet deep into the ocean.

“It was earth-shattering,” said Kennedy’s personal assistant and ABC News consultant RoseMarie Terenzio. “It was unbelievable. It was as [if] the earth had cracked in half somehow. And I could not understand how this happened. To him of all people.”

Flying was part of Kennedy’s being–even though his late mother was not a fan. Long story short, more than one Kennedy family member had trouble with flying (aunts, uncles and other family members) and Kennedy had to hide his flying lessons from his mother. Once Onassis passed away her son took up lessons again, according to biographer Tina Flaherty.

Flying held a massive role in the marriage of Bessette and Kennedy, which Bessette wasn’t immediately excited about, according to Kennedy biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli. It was ultimately that very thing that would bind them together forever.

When they were supposed to reach Martha’s Vineyard, Kennedy was to drop off his sister-in-law. Then, Kennedy and Bessette were to attend the wedding of Rory Kennedy at Cape Cod’s Hyannis Port, according to History. The plane never made it. Instead, it plunged into the sea, about eight miles from the Vineyard shore. There was no mechanical problems found in investigations of the accident; it all came down to the unideal weather conditions that have been assumed to confuse Kennedy, ultimately leading to the crash.

Terenzio remembered the devastating phone call from Bobby Kennedy, a Kennedy cousin.

“He said, ‘RoseMarie, John’s not coming back’. And I think it just sort of hit me…then that, this was it.”

While he’s no longer with us, that doesn’t mean that Kennedy’s memory can’t continue to be celebrated. In the spirit of America’s most admired family, the nation will face adversities and continue to move on.

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