Mar 29, 2011

"Are you bored yet?" A career-woman-turned-homemaker's answer

I often get asked this question - are you bored yet? Since I was 20, I have never not worked, except for my two maternity leave episodes. Break in between jobs? What would you want to do that? I declared many times in the past I would go crazy if asked to spend my whole day at home.

And now here I am, an expat am I bored yet? I admit I've struggled, and have many times gone stir crazy facing my four walls. Sometimes those walls can feel like a prison. But in the process, I have learnt a few things :-

1) I take a page out of tiger mom Amy Chua's book. You never enjoy anything until you are good at it, and to be good at it, you have to persevere. In this case, being forced to persevere has led me to discovering joys I never knew existed. When I was working full-time, and occasionally at home on weekdays, I didn't enjoy it because it was always like being dumped into unfamiliar territory, into a space I did not 'own'. I would be relieved to go back to work because it was something I knew how to do.

2) Seek your own challenges, whatever that may be. New things excite the brain, that's why going shopping in a new mall is most exciting! I don't like shopping (much), but I do like the process of discovery and learning. Fortunately for me, the world is full of things I don't know about.

3) Keep busy. That seems contrary to the life of leisure most want to aim for, but we are built to be busy, young or old. The body and mind doesn't work well when we are idle for too long. I am slowly filling my calendar with things to do and places to go. Even though they are pretty mundane activities, it makes me look to the future because I have to be someplace. And I'm also busy with this blog! ;)

4) Get some off time. I salute those who can work 24/7, 7 days a week, like our moms did. But to me the problem with housework is like the problem with labour pains, they don't end! (a delirious mind after 20 hours will swear to you they won't ever) When at work, a project ends sometime, or the accounts close sometime. Even if there is no break, there is closure. With housework, someone somewhere is wearing a shirt that is picking up dirt as I write this.

Of course, I may yet change my mind later and throw in the towel. Anyone want to put money on this? ;)


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