I guess I need to hide quickly! Your employers (I am self employed ;)) will be after my blood reading this post title! But what the heck! Why are we always doing the opposite..? That is – why are we our least spirited selves on weekends? It may sound weird to you but wait a sec! However much gung-ho we are prior to weekends, when it is actually there, all we are found doing is clearing that long list of mundane ‘To Dos’ – wardrobe cleaning, piles of laundry, doctor visits, grocery shopping, parent-teacher meetings (PTMs), visiting friends and relatives (yes, sometimes that can become a mere ‘To Do’ rather than fun). The list goes on…
Amidst all these, we never really take the time to indulge in a thing or two that we love doing. Let alone ‘doing’, there are some of us who don’t even know what is it that we LOVE doing – on a regular basis. Do we?
How many of us can name 5 things that we love doing or we would love to do? I would request you to go back and think about those 5 things. May be take a paper and start jotting down. When you do that, don’t think about how trivial or un-useful it is. Don’t care for the ROI! It could be as banal as ‘sleeping the whole afternoon’ or it may sound as extravagant as shopping for big brands. Just brainstorm. And then, start ticking those that are doable and something that you will have lots of fun and satisfaction doing. Once you have done that, take it seriously.
Take the resolution to do something about it. But yes, first and foremost, share it with your family (spouse/parents/kids), tell them how you want/crave to do it and you’ll see how they will rally around you so you can do what you want to do. And then, remind yourself everyday, write it down on a white board – in office, at home, block some time for it on your calendar (in your mail box) and when the weekend is there, just grab some time for that love of your life!
Okay, now that you’ve started to scribble down what you’d like doing, let me share some of the things to do that you might want to consider:
1. Grow a green patch in your balcony/backyard. You could plant herbs (basil, mint, bay, thyme…), flowers, and vegetables – without investing much. You will need to find a sunny spot in your house if you don’t have a backyard. A balcony, porch or a large sun-facing window sill is enough! The returns on this investment are an immeasurable amount of satisfaction, fresh bounties for the kitchen, a healthy workout, a house with natural beauty and much more..! You can even start a ‘green group’ in your society/neighbourhood to connect with people who have a similar interest. You could barter seeds, saplings, bounties. Plant trees in and around your neighbourhood and more.
2. Start a tiny library: If you buy books, you will read them. Fiction, biography, self-help or even comics – find a quiet, cozy corner in the house, coffee shop, park or a beach; sit back with your big cup of tea or coffee, and devour your Jane Austen or a Mills & Boon, a Harry Potter or the ever so readable – Paolo Coelho. From the country side of England to the vineyards of France and from the carnivals of Brazil to the ‘gullies’ of Varanasi; as they rightly say, books let you travel the world without moving an inch! And then, you can start a book club with friends and neighbours to get together for a review, exchange books etc.
3. Take dance/music/singing classes: If you have an inclination/bathroom talent for music or singing, consider yourself lucky. There’s nothing more relaxing, more spiritual and more fun than music and dance – be it singing, playing an instrument or shaking a leg. And, its the best detox for your mind and body!
4. Educate a child: Well, this sounds more like a social service but there’s immense satisfaction and fun one can derive from this. In India, we have a humongous percentage of kids and youth that are illiterate. If you genuinely feel for this cause, why not spend some time shaping a child’s future and in the bargain, connecting with the person inside you who’s yearning to give back to the society.
5. Decorate a corner of your house: I find this very very therapeutic and I am sure many of you do too. The catch lies in doing this as a fun activity every weekend. Not just when we are expecting guests. Because, a hobby is something we do for our own pleasure and not for someone else’s :) There are some excellent online sources and blogs to gather ideas from – http://www.bhg.com/, http://anindiansummer-design.blogspot.com/, http://www.thekeybunch.com
6. Ah…..the flavours from your kitchen are making me hungry (again!): Many of us love cooking but do not have the time (or energy) to do it at or own pace and as suits our fancy! Why not keep the weekend aside to explore the varied flavours from your kitchen and lay the table with a surprise new dish for your family? Actually you could even do a pot-luck by calling over friends and family and getting to eat a potpourri of dishes without spending a buck for a buffet outside… ;)
7. Time to let the camera manual see the light of the day! I know how you appreciate a nice photo, and how you happily clicked away to glory the last time you went on that vacation! So, its time you recharge your camera batteries, bring out that manual that you never read beyond the cover page, and start clicking around at the first sign of a photogenic beauty (well, I didn’t mean your next door neighbour ;))… Jokes apart, photography is a creative pursuit and is very rejuvenating. You can also join some photo community network like flickr (www.flickr.com) to share your clicks and see others’ works and make new friends in the process. I share mine here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rashmiejaaju/
8. Start a blog! If you are the sorts who keep a diary, love writing mails rather than mere forwarding and are always reading up and seeking information, you may pretty much find it fun and worthwhile writing a blog and connecting with the whole wide world. The subject could be anything – an expertise area, your hobby, a news journal, a photo gallery etc. There are many free and paid platforms – www.blogger.com (free), www.wordpress.com (free), www.typepad.com (paid) and many such.
9. Travel/Explore: Well, you might ask me – “how’s it possible to travel every weekend?” Nah…not travel as in travel outside your city. What I mean is – go see different places. These could be outside your city/state/country AND, they could be right there in your own city – just miles away from you! How many of us can confidently say that we have seen every single interesting place in own city. I, for one, have not :( There are at least a hundred places to see in and around Delhi that I have not seen yet…! So, go plan your itinerary – for your own city :)
10. Movies, movies and more movies! – Hey folks, how cool is this! We all love watching movies. Well, most of us! But, making it a regular weekend activity and a planned one? Not really. Not many of us do that. Not me. As yet. There are hundreds of movies made by master filmmakers that are worth a thousand experiences. Why not start watching them one by one every weekend to rejuvenate and regale in the kaleidoscopic journey to Hollywood, India, Japan, Iran, France, Italy, Ireland. Check out this Wikipedia page to see an elaborate list of the best movies from various countries and across genres. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Films_considered_the_greatest_ever
11. Play a sport, be a sport! Soccer, Cricket, Squash, Swimming, Badminton, Table Tennis or Lawn Tennis – take up one sport and sweat it out. This is much fun and physically rewarding than a boring treadmill or push-ups!
Someone said, “The only reason why we ask other people ‘how their weekend was’ is so we can tell them about our own weekend.”
So, go on – rave about your weekend love…! Or better still – blog about it!
All pictures and content on this blog are copyright of Rashmie Jaaju. Do not use photos or copy without my explicit permission.