On leisure

Since 19-year old I have worked more or less as FTE. And also studied along the work. On summer 2002 I graduated from the university, autumn before I had managed to pass my marketing degree. From 2000 working hard, long hours has been as a rule. I have no children, so probably it is fair enough to say I have lived for my work or from my work. Spare time has not ever been a problem, basicly because there has been none – to exaggerate a bit.

In mid-October 2013 I moved to Singapore due to my spouse’s permanent job here. Suddenly there was nothing else, but leisure in my hands. All day long. At first it was very peculiar. I had worked over 22 years, no any sabbaticals. Fortunately I have always enjoyed solitude, being at home. But of course all of a sudden being alone at home weekdays needed some time to adjust. Quite many suffer from loneliness, that there is no one to talk with. For me it was not the major issue. But only because I am not totally alone, my spouse comes home in the evening, sometimes earlier, often later. I have option for human communication daily. It is important. But what I am trying to say I can spend whole day without speaking to anyone, and have no complications whatsoever.

After the beginning I realized, how exceptional and precious option this is. To have a lot of time to think, to revert from work, to explore plenty of new. I have not had any sort of awakening, I don’t praise leisure gods, but I feel that there is time and place for everything. Leisure this degree was exactly I needed. I was happy to work long hours, under pressure, deal not always just pleasant challenges, but work was something I regarded being the very essence of me, my core. I have tried to work hard, full, flat out, not counting hours or my energy. Protestant backbone! When I turned 40, I realized that there must be something else than long hours at work and work-related events in the evening (or on weekends). It was a struggle to break away from it. And soon after I was here in Singapore, having more than too much of time. Well, honestly, time flies by. And I feel very content, more peaceful.

What I have done during these long hours of leisure? Living in a new country guarantees there is no dull moments. How you upload your days it is up to you. What I have pursued is not to fill every second. I want to avoid performing. I love walking – I have done that a lot, many streets and roads are familiar, but only nearby. It is astonishing, how easy it is to integrate in a new surrounding neighborhood. I cannot remember from where I read years ago that people usually move from home to work at the longest, beside that usual daily distance from home is approximately 3-5 km. I truly agree. Moreover I haven’t ever looked after my home in this extent. Most satisfactory is to have time for cooking and baking, which I have really missed yesteryear. Of course I have been able to read more, and to guzzle the news even more.

Finally I have had time to experience funny trends and such. Just to mention a few: for instance diet 5:2, not for me. Or “no poo”: didn’t act on my hair or actually with hair it was just fine, but my scalp as my fingertips hated baking soda. And honestly no poo test was too messy and took a lot of time, which I have enough, but rinsing loads of extra water not recommendable at all. Although keeping your bath tub and  sink clean baking soda is highly recommended. Two new try-outs worked well, still upholding them: water walking in the pool and walking on treadmill in the gym. A bit of variation for standard walking and wandering. Some other experiences I also have had, but cannot remember all of them. At the moment I try to nurture my own bread starters, a couple of attempts already failed, but constantly re-trying. I have managed to bake already one sourdough bread using my own, but still very young starter. Waiting for now it to bubble and keep it alive, then I can really bake my first own sourdough bread. Two other starters growing are tend to bake Finnish rye bread. Rye flour seems to be very sensitive. But if I manage, I will give my bread report then.

Homebaked bread
My first sourdough bread from my own starter

My recommendations of the week:

FOOD: home baked bread

BOOK: Alexander McCall Smith. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (An Isabel Dalhousie novel)

PLACE: Marina Barrage

SOMETHING ELSE: Walk from Tanjong Pagar to Marina Barrage to Marina South Pier, back to Tanjong Pagar.

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