Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Finally Brave Enough to Confess I Would Love to Spend Some Time on Myself

There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: TIME.  ~Napoleon I, Maxims, 1815’
The question “If you had two extra hours in a day, how would you spend it?” is very tempting for most of the people. Often, we feel it would be great to have those extra hours to do something close to our hearts. Social commitments and our responsibilities, steal our time without even letting us realize it. When we do something we love and enjoy the most, ignoring what we should actually do, then the feeling of guilt starts gnawing at our happiness.
People often feel they could do much if they had some extra hours in a day. May be because it is extra time we get, the guilt could be locked away when we do something we enjoy. But that is not possible. Our days are made of 24 hours and that is fixed. If we need some extra time to pursue a hobby, passion or spend quality time with our family and friends, the only way out is to stop wasting time. Time is precious. There are lots of inspirational stories written about how precious time is. One of them goes as the follows. A billionaire was rumored to be earning 1 million dollars every second. Once a person asked the billionaire “Is it true that you earn 1 million dollars every second?” The billionaire replied, “Let’s forget how much I earn. You can earn one million dollars every second if you can add a second to my 24 hours”. Everyone knows it is impossible to add even a second to the 24 hours we get every day. But often, we spend so much of time sleeping, lazing around or doing unnecessary chores.

I am no different. I have spent nearly 4,00,000 hours in my lifetime. How many of those hours have been spent fruitfully? How many hours have I truly enjoyed to the fullest? How many of those hours were filled with ‘WOW!’ moments? I cannot count much of positively spent hours in those 4,00,000 hours of time I have spent.
 After my marriage, most of my time was spent learning simple skills that I had ignored all my life. I was an expert in cooking special dishes like puddings, cakes, halwas etc, but I did not know the common everyday cooking which was always done by my Mom. Another hurdle was the change in environment. I had grown up in Bangalore, but after marriage had to shift to Byndoor; which is a small coastal village and  quite different in many ways. I had to adapt to new food, clothing and way of living.

Time was spent drawing water from well, sweeping, mopping, learning to cook sea food, washing clothes along with other tedious household chores which made me unhappy. My Mom always preferred particular brand of bath soaps, detergent powder, cooking oil, hair oil, shampoo, rice and many other products which had become a part of my life. Using local 555 bar soap with some kind of local light brown washing powder did not go down well with me. I would waste so much of time scrubbing the dishes and clothes. The cement floor also required lots of mopping. Change is not easy in an Indian village but then changing me was not easy either. One fine day I had to put my foot down and state that I will not compromise on the quality of products for the sake of price. Anyway it did not save much, because, you ended up using more of those products to clean up clothes and dishes. Also, eating unhealthy food makes you spend on doctor's bills and medicines which at times eats up more than you have saved. So, I was back with my preferred brands, but still had to do all the chores manually.

My childhood was spent trying to prove myself to my family in particular and the world in general. I wanted to be a topper in studies, sports and many other things, so that the handicapped girl tag would not carry on in my life. Due to my efforts I was successful, and no one thinks of me as a handicapped person anymore; but, at this stage of life I feel it would not hurt me if they did. All the fun was lost in trying to achieve something which I do not treasure anymore
My teen years were spent working hard on my studies, improving my behavior and trying to please my parents. I wanted to be an ideal daughter. So, I ended up being married and giving up studies for which I had worked so hard all my life. It was all confusing and I did not know what I was doing. My teens years were something where I had little control over the changes happening in my life. By the time I could think clearly and see the results, I sadly realized that all those hours of studying I did in my childhood and teen years were for nothing. It will not bear fruit, but then learning has never been wasted. Knowledge is wealth I can treasure forever. 
Buying a washing machine was easy but installing one took lot of changes to the house. We did not have overhead tank or running water so the washing machine had to wait till now. Just this October did I manage to finally buy a washing machine (Whirlpool, ACE) Whew! 
For the past 22 years I have spent a lot of time doing unnecessary household chores about which I am not happy. I wish I could have spent that time doing something worthwhile. I don't mean to say that caring for my family was not my duty or worthwhile. but then doing things the tough way and wasting precious time is what I regret. 
Lego toys were big fun
I have spent a lot of happy time with my kids. Those memories will be treasured forever in my mind. We have gone for long walks together, done lots of painting, enjoyed different games and have shared amazing stress free time together. Though being different is difficult, I cannot say I have been unhappy with my kids.
 I cannot say the same about my husband though. He works in gulf and we do not get to spend much time together. After 22 years of married life, may be I am more comfortable with this life-style and do not yearn for a change anymore. I don't yearn for some exclusive time with him at this stage of my life. I did when I was younger and may be I will feel it when I am older. 

After all the useless talk I still have the question from Surf excel matic, “If you had two extra hours in a day, how would you spend it?” unanswered.

It is very tempting to say I would give extra care to my special needs daughter and teach her new words and activities. It is also very tempting to say I would love to spend some quality time with my husband or son. But those tempting sentences would not be true. Those would be the ideal words and sentences everyone expects to hear from me. Those would be the words I say because everyone expects me to say them and feel happy when I do what they expect me to do.
When I look back on the path I have treaded in my life, I sadly find that ‘I’ have been the person who has got least attention, love, pampering and priority in my life. Though I spend all the 24 hours a day with myself, I have failed to care for my own feelings and emotions.
If I could get two extra hours now or if have some hours left in my life at the stage when I find myself starting the last part of Life’s journey, I would love to spend it on myself selfishly. I would read all those books I have been putting off, I would watch my favourite movies all over again without being interrupted, I would play games without struggling to win them, cook food I enjoy, pamper myself with love and attention, AND I would continue my studies again. I have never regretted anything as much in my life as I have on giving up my studies. I always aspired to be an astrophysicist or psychologist. Astrophysics is out of my reach now but Psychology still holds hope. I have already finished two years of my graduation and scored quite impressive marks in psychology even without two extra hours a day. My aim is to do PhD in psychology and do researches about the way people feel when they go through cancer. Cancer has affected my life in a big way. Going through breast cancer at the age of 29 was not a big deal for me when compared to how I felt losing my sister, Mom and friends to cancer. Cancer changes people completely and they emerge something different from the experience. For past fifteen years after my cancer experience, I have counseled and met many survivors and learned a lot about surviving cancer. I would like to further study the feelings and experiences of people who have been through the ordeal. May be I can do something about the way people can deal with cancer. Not only the survivors but even the family of the people who go through cancer need emotional support and help. My own experience will add to my learning experience. These are the things I want to do for myself with or without the extra two hours I may get in a day.
I am brave enough to finally go against what everyone expects me say and say what my heart feels at this moment. The two hours I get will sure be the exclusive ‘ME’ time. I feel I have done justice to others but not to myself. So 'NOW' it is time to do something for myself and feel "There, I have done something I cherish in my life".

Another good story  about time which I would love to share:

Imagine you had an account in bank. Each morning your bank would deposit 86,400 in your private account for you to use it freely. However, everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you. 
You may not simply transfer money into some other account. You may only spend it. 
Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
What would you do in such event?
You would off course try to spend every rupee wisely to benefit yourself and people around you.
Each of us is in possession of such a magical account in bank though we can't seem to see it. 
The bank is our life and the account is of time! 
Each morning we receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us. What we haven't lived up that day is forever lost. Yesterday is gone forever. 
Each morning the account is updated with new time, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time.... without warning. Death is always lurking around the corner.
So, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? 
Time is worth so much more than the same amount in rupees. 
Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think. 
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!

Surf Excel Blue (Free Bucket)When I  used to wash my clothes manually, surf excel blue has been a good partner for me. I wonder what to with those stack of buckets I have collected over the time ;) 


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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