I was so busy those days that I used to wonder how DD2 went from being a baby to a preschooler. I always had this worry at the back of my head about how I was going to fare with all this free time because I have never been without a job. Would I become someone so obsessed with my house and children that I would not recognize myself after a few months? Would I compete through my children and drive them nuts? Will I shop till I drop all in the name of beautifying something or other? Lets see.
Now I was left with all this time in the world and it felt great. Nothing earth shattering to rush out the door for. After the initial euphoria with my free time wore off I had to devise a strategy to use the time. If I lived in a place that was warm all year round I might started to look for a piece of land to grow stuff. seriously.
For most of us the day jobs outside our homes defines who we are, so when that is yanked we seem to lose our bearings. Now and then with all the gloom and doom I do wonder if I did the right thing. Even if I start looking for a new job right now I am not going to get gainfully employed any time soon, so I decided not to try. If you had been layed off from work this might give you some ideas about how to structure your time and not worry about not having that job.
First and fore most learn to enjoy the time on your hands and not worry about being jobless. This might be considered as the time off you always wanted but never got around to it. Also use the extra time to brush up on some technology or skill you wanted. Learn to cook healthy and learn a few tricks, so when you do go back to work it will come in handy. Take that afternoon nap and go for a walk when the weather is good. Develop some good exercise habits which is sure to help even when you get busy. Brush up those hobbies and interests that have never had the time of day. Here is how I spend my time,
1.Take part in every activity at the kids' schools. I have all the time to take part in their activities and be part of their life. While DD has become independent to a large extent, DD2 actually enjoys having me around.
2.Try out recipes that have been bookmarked for ever.
3.Exercise regularly, I especially enjoy going to the swimming pool in the mornings and swim with sunshine streaming through the windows. There are lot of senior citizens at that time of the day. I overheard 2 ladies talking about going to the senior Olympics. They inspire me and wish fervently to be as active at that age. Of late I have been seeing a lot of people my age. Is this is a sign of what is going on in the job market?
4. Spend a couple of hours or longer, keeping up with the latest technology, so if I do go back to work I am not completely rusty.
5. Dab a bit in the stock market. I have always been intrigued by people who only pay capital gains tax and no payroll taxes. Trying my hand to see if this can become a full time job. I am only half kidding.
6.Take walks around the neighborhood when the weather is pleasant and explore the park and creek nearby with DD2 who gets home in the afternoon. This is usually what gives the most joy.
7.Take the pleasure of the extra few minutes in bed in the morning, this is not always possible because the kids have to get to school but I know I can always catch a few zzzs once they are out the door. Take that afternoon nap if I need to. I am not big on afternoon napping but I know I can if I want to.
8.Learned to shop smarter especially groceries. I am a lot better now, yes occasionally I forget my coupons and don't always look at the fliers but the times I have done I know I have saved quite a bit.
9. Learning to play tennis, something I have always wanted to but never had the time.
10. Volunteering. I teach English. I got trained and am tutoring through this organization.
11. The last but not the least is this blog and blogging. This has to a large extent kept my sanity, giving me the medium to crib, rant and complain when I needed to. I have also learned a lot from the various blogs that I visit regularly.
This article is not an endorsement/encouragement for anyone to quit their job(not that I believe that anybody is going from reading to writing a resignation letter). I was firmly of the belief that a job was essential to happiness/contentment and when I finally decided to quit the results were quite different from my expectations. This absolutely does not mean I won't go back to work full time. The important takeaway is to be happy wherever we are, especially if the break was forced. I am not really sure if I was successful in conveying that in all that blah.
The minute I saw this double beans recipe on Arundathi's My Food blog, I knew I was going to try it very soon. I rarely add beans to lentils/dal. I usually use onions or tomatoes to form the base for the gravy but to use mashed dal in its place seemed more healthy and of course easier. I gave it a try and it has become my most favored way of cooking dried lima beans.
Recipe Source: My Food Blog - Double Beans Kootu
Lima Beans Kootu
1. 3/4 cup toor dal cooked with a pinch of turmeric, drop of oil and extra water to be used for the curry
2. 1 1/2 cups dried lima beans soaked overnight
3. 1/2 red onion chopped
4. 2 roma tomatoes chopped
5. 3 green/red chilies
6. 2 tsp sambhar powder
7. 1 cup green beans chopped
8. salt to taste
9. seasonings: curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and a pinch of asfoetida
1. Take a pan and heat a tsp of oil and add the seasonings followed by the chilies.
2. Add the onions, green chilies and saute till translucent and add the tomatoes and saute till soft. Add the sambhar powder.
3. Now add the green beans and double beans and the water from the toor dal and let them cook till the double beans is almost cooked.
4.Now add the mashed toor dal and salt, mix and let it boil for a few more minutes.
Serve with rice or rotis.