Time does slow down

Before I came to Kuwait, I enjoyed ( for lack of a better word ) the perks of having a full time job. I used to get up at around 8 and rush to work. I would have lunch at my office canteen. I would get home by around 7. Invariably, I'd be tired - sapped out of vital energy - and I would rest for a bit before dinner would be ready. Then I'd read, occasionally watch a movie, talk to a friend, spend time with family and call it a day. To say the least, before I realized, I had turned 26. It felt like yesterday when I graduated as an engineer. Time flew.

Today, I was talking to our new house-help Padma, who's a delightful Tamilian, who can thankfully also speak in Hindi. I go every now and then to the kitchen to listen to her talk about her life. Then when she gets tired of talking, I read a book or write, or resume my online courses on Coursera. I have fallen in love with 2 courses at the moment. I workout leisurely in the morning - do some stretches and yoga, and am done just in time before Padma comes - lest she be scandalized.

Tips :
  • If you're looking to learn a topic or have a thirst for knowledge, log on to Coursera and browse their hundreds of free online courses from renowned universities around the world.
  • I would always recommend you to learn a new language - download Duolingo
  • Put on YouTube and practice some zumba or aerobics - or if it's too harsh - try yoga. This article may help ( skip point 10 )
  • If you've not already watch a TED talk - go watch one now. You can start with this one :)
  • And finally, read - read as much as possible. Books, blogs, anything.

After the work out - I have a glass of hot water mixed with cinnamon powder and lemon - it's apparently very good for the body. I can not imagine doing this before, even though it hardly takes a couple of minutes - because I was always running against time. ( I had to swipe at work daily )
I spend a few minutes daily and learn Spanish. There's this really cool app - Duolingo - and I have been using it for a while. I am watching more TED talks, reading more - not just books, but articles on Techcrunch or The Economist or the like. I also get to read some of my favorite blogs ! Time did slow down. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually don't feel like sleeping all day.
In the evenings, Navin and I go out for a jog. The Salmiya garden is a five minute walk, it's really nice - and it's got a long round track.

We then watch a movie together - he happens to be the biggest movie buff I have ever seen - and trust me not always for the story - he also focuses on the photography, background music, cinematography and other technical aspects. ( I finally watched Moneyball, Monsoon Wedding and Bangalore Days - movies I wanted to see for long )

I was in conversation with a friend, Asha, who also relocated post marriage and I wanted to know how she was spending her time. She was a former engineer and now lives in Oman. In her words :

"I started cooking after coming here, and one of my favorite pass-times is experimenting in the kitchen. I initially found it very difficult being idle especially since I had a full time job, but then, books happened. They're amazing partners to kill time. While I worked, I found it difficult to find time to read. Now e-books and cookery sites are my best friends here when I am alone."

Another friend, a former colleague, Shiba, had crazy schedules as a journalist covering events with arduous deadlines.  She now enjoys a more relaxed job. In her words.

"The scene before I joined The Hindu - ie with crazy schedules and undesired work hours, I read newspapers, books, watched movies/TV series, cooked and helped mom in law a bit. But now with a relaxed job, I sit and chat a lot more with my mom in law. She shares her childhood stories and also my husband's. I cook a lot more. The maid and I whip out a new dish almost everyday. When am not reading or watching a movie, the maid teaches me sewing. Since my husband is away, I write to him - an email in the form of a blog or writing a diary. It's rare that I am on the phone when at home."

  • This is the best time to actually focus on your health - make yourself a lime tea, a salad, cut a fruit !
  • If you've always wanted to experiment in the kitchen - do it now. You can find some inspiration here. I am a regular reader of her blog. And I refer to this website too.
  • This usually is a useful stopgap, so make the best out of it.

It's amazing how the concept of time becomes relative - and it totally is up to us to define that. While I am still searching for opportunities in a new country and it's not easy to land a job here, I am busy learning and enjoying this 'time has slowed down' phase. Have you experienced this happening to you ? How did you cope ?
Happy long weekend guys and Eid Mubarak :)

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