Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The fast track

Half an hour to spare??


It was a glitch in the matrix. It was most definitely a glitch in the matrix.

I had dropped by the mall before picking up Xena from school, to buy a new swimsuit for her. Perhaps I hadn't expected to find one so quickly. Perhaps I hadn't expected to find exactly what I wanted, in the very first shop I went to. Whatever it was, I had an extra half an hour on my hands, which by my planning should have been 10 minutes -- just enough for me to grab a quick bite at the food court and head for the bus stop. 

This is usually how our weekday works. As soon we Xena wakes up, all of us quickly get into the smooth groove of perfect dovetailing. While Xena is brushing her teeth, Viv is bathing and I'm getting her breakfast ready. He comes out and starts feeding her. I start making his breakfast and as soon as they are done, he starts eating his breakfast, while I get her into her uniform and tie her hair and pack her snackbox and water bottle. After kicking both of them out of the house, I grab a quick breakfast over a physical newspaper, and if my work deadlines are not crazy, head to the gym with a book (the cross-trainer has a book-holder), which thankfully is just downstairs. I get back in 45 minutes, bathe and start working. Depending on whether I'm eating dinner leftovers for lunch, or having lunch near her school, or running an errand like today, I leave home. I get her back, bathe her, give her milk, put her down for a nap and start working again. I work for an hour and then finish any household chores so I'm all hers when she's up. She wakes up around 3-4 pm and then we play, take photos and videos, and do some fun activities. I give her an early dinner (which doesn't take long because as you know, she hates food) and then exactly at 6 pm, we head to the beach or the playground for an hour. Viv is back at 7:30 to take over and I start cooking dinner (most weekdays I like to cook dinner, but we do eat out once or twice). By the time I'm done with cooking, she's had her bath, milk, brushed her teeth and is fast asleep. Viv and I then have dinner with a movie or conversation. On most days, I manage to sneak in some gmailing and fbing. On good days, I manage to sneak in some blogging. And thus, the perfectly-planned weekday ends perfectly. I like it to be like that. Fast. Efficient. Well-planned. Well-executed.

Yes, I know the importance of me-time, especially for mommies like me who work from home and don't have domestic help, but I don't get much of it, and definitely not in the weekdays. But I'm not complaining. The thing is, if I had too much me-time, I'd probably get a little sick of it. Or worse, use that time to plan the non-me-time time. Horrifying, isn't it?

So today, when I realized I had half an hour extra in my packed day, I was amused. I honestly didn't know what to do with it. So I decided to spend it at MOS burger. I love their spicy MOS cheeseburger and never have the time for it before picking Xena up as I eat at places where I don't have to wait even a bit for my food.

Compared to other fast food places, MOS takes a while before giving you your burger. They give you your drink and a token number and bring you the rest of the stuff later. So I sat and waited. It felt strange. I felt jobless. Like I could be doing something more productive than this on a weekday morning. But I had to kill time. Wow, I can't believe I said 'kill time'. That phrase rarely appears in my vocabulary. (If I had a smartphone, I'd probably be busy on it. But that's precisely why I don't have or want a smartphone. It consumes you.) So I sat there and wondered about what I should be wondering about. I wondered if I should spend that time planning the rest of the week and making some fun weekend plans. But guess what? It was all done. I literally had nothing to do. I was not used to that feeling. At all.

So I sipped my drink and looked around and took everything in.  Things I generally wouldn't notice. Like how green the seats were. If someone had asked me before what colour the seats at MOS were, I would have had no idea. I was noticing them for the first time. And just like that, sipping my iced peach tea, waiting for my burger and fries, staring at that rather revolting shade of green, I relaxed. The gears in my head slowed down and stopped turning. Agreed, I was most definitely not in my comfort zone, but I felt like I could do it. I should do it. I didn't want to think about anything in particular. I just wanted to sit there and... you know, just sit there.

And I did. For a while at least.

It felt good. 

I had managed to slow down. In a fast food restaurant. 


Unknown said...

Very nice! :)

zilch22 said...

What a beautiful post! Sheer poetry! Makes me want to switch off all my devices and just sit for a bit. Can't remember the last time I did that, with an active 3 year old in the house. :) Don't think I could, if I had the choice... but you inspire!

Ranjani said...

Hi Sayesha,

Been a long time lurker here. .. But had to say this.. Only you could write a post like this and make it so interesting.. The last line is superb.. Kudos.. and love to li'l Xena :)

Sri said...

Good for you!!

Reading about your planned weekday schedule has inspired me to be more meticulous!!

Varsha said...

:). Only gets more packed as they grow up. With the HWs, projects etc. Great that you get to gym on few days and take Xena to the beach as well.

V said...

Brava! Brava!

Vidya Hemraj said...

What a great post! Reminds me to value the little things in life :-). By the way, why dont you do a post on organizing? I'm amazed at your planning skills and really feel the need to get some insight because it seems like you are packing in so much and me - so little :-(. Thrilled to hear that Xena is back to being her good ol' naughty, active self :D.

Arun said...


Your blog could use a "Like" button :)

Alice said...

And that last sentence is so 'you' :)

Calvin said...

After a long time, a post about YOU! :) I like! :)

Kanan said...


dearbharat said...

Just a matter of observing oneself and being aware. Rest everything starts appearing clear.

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker. Just wanted to say that I admire the way you handle xena and all that motherhood has thrown at you.

I'm glad you found some me time. We all deserve it. Much love to the little girl :-)

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~ Lopa said...

Sayesha, commenting after a long time i know but doesn't mean i have been missing out on reading. But ofcourse i read in batches...a few posts together so gets difficult to comment. So how come i comment now you ask??? Because i had a question while reading first half of this post - how many times do you bath / bathe Xena? :-D

And better late than never, congratulations on 15 years in Singapore :-)

Sayesha said...

Thank you. :)

Listen to Nike. Just do it. ;)

Thank you. :)

Thank you. :)

Ah yes, I sneak in a workout where possible. :P

Thanks. :)

Hehe, thanks! The post pretty much sums up how I organise my weekdays. :)

Okay, you're the second or third reader to say that. I might just add it. :)

Hehe! :P

Me likey too! :P


Bharat Bhushan,
True. :)

Thank you. :)

LOL! Thanks for still popping by the bar! :) I bathe her twice a day, once in the afternoon (after school + bus ride home), and once in the evening (after the playground/beach). :)

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