Almost every person I meet, he tells me he wants to do something special in his life. Something that will make him feel more satisfied and fulfilled. Believing in his talent, he finds its hard to pursue one’s interests due to lack of time. Often I’m asked, how I do it. There is nothing special, except having a few tricks to stay refreshed even when one is extremely tired. To find ways to do what one really likes, in spite of being busy. The trick lies in finding ways to get fresh and remove feelings of fatigue.
I mean, just look at Allama Iqbal, he had two wives, children and a full time law practice. Yet, he came out with the greatest poetry and thoughts of his times. How did he do it? By making space for it, along with providing for his family through his profession. This blog post is all about how to make space for your passion in your life.
You do it – because your happiness depends on it- that’s why!
You see, life is going to be crazy anyway. Do you think your life is less difficult for not doing all the ‘extra’ things that talented people do? Even if your life is nice, stable, routine but then there is this element of ‘missing’ excitement in it. You find yourself saying ‘I wish’ very often. So, I’d suggest you develope a life with more granting of your own ‘wishes’ (too).
One just needs to make an effort.
Plan better, and get going! Once you are on the road, you will feel better. As they say ‘himmat to karni parti hai.’ You cannot get anything without making the extra effort or cherry on the top!
So, if you are in a hurry, I will share my secrets first, and go on with my blog post for those who have more time to read.
Here are tips for all ‘normal’ activities:
Quickly go over the important responsibilities in your life, to make space for your passions in life.
- Stop doing your work, ten minutes earlier. This will conserve your energy and give you more time in the end.
- Try to ‘end’ your ‘work day’ by 5.00 pm every day. (if it is not completed, drop it.)
- Make an effort to do something wonderful afterwards, at least once or twice a week.
Refresh your self like this:
These will help you to keep going for it!
- Break: Take a ten-minute break and relax completely. (Mentally and physically.)
- Prayer: Best is to do wuzzu and say prayers – nothing so refreshing. While praying ask Allah to make things easy for you. (According to the Chinese acupuncture method, you touch points during wuzzu which will relax your nerves.)
- Shower: A quick hot or cold shower can do wonders. Unconsciously, you are giving a massage to your whole body like this, extremely refreshing.
- Make up and change of clothes: fresh clothes and make-up do wonders to your spirits.
- Perfume: you’ve heard of aroma therapy, it really works.
- Meditate: do it as you drive, or while lying down, or after prayers.
- Visualize a place: you can visualize being in a place that you love, (for me walking in a running stream in my bare feet is the best.) Specially visualize yourself doing what you are going to do now. Imagine how wonderful you will feel while doing it.
- Drink tea, coffee or lemonade: Any one of these can get you back on the road!
- Fifteen to twenty minutes: is all you need to get refreshed.
- Power naps: This can be ten to twenty minutes. One hour is the best. It will make you completely rejuvenated.
On Septemeber 25th evening, I was literally on the point of collapse, by 4.45 pm. I knew I had to wrap up the endless work of the day. Then pick a friend and drive off to Rawalpindi for an event. A headache was coming on, and I could feel my neck’s left side muscles feeling strained. (Later on Ive found out it was due to high blood pressure – income tax returns does that!) So, I tried to get out of the event, (for a change.) The trip meant at least a three to four hour sojourn.
I rang up Mrs. Gen. Saeed uz Zafar, who had invited me.
‘I’m so sorry, but I’m really not feeling well.’
‘It’s fine, you can come slightly late, but it will be worth it’ she said!
So, I refreshed myself by a few of the things mentioned above, and drove off. I have a theory, ‘once you have decided, then don’t think about it.’ That’s what Iqbal says:
Naila and my drive to Rawalpindi Garrison Mess:
The moment Naila sat in the car, she said, ‘put that off! It will distract you while driving.’ I looked at my innocent DVD player in the dash board. I wanted to ask: ‘Why do you think I bought this car???’- Yes for this dashing dashboard of course! – So, I put off the screen, but kept the music going… telling her ‘I can’t drive without music.’ Which is so true.
Naila and her family have just returned from attending a wedding in UK, so it was interesting conversation. She told me she had visited Daphne du Mauriers’ Jamaica Inn location in Cornwall. She even saw the desk where she sat and wrote. It is an actual Inn, in Cornwall, UK. I’ve literally grown up reading her books. Though I’ve loved Rebecca a lot but my favorites were Jamaica Inn and Scapegoat.
This is the conversation we had as I drove on the signal-free highway. Then through the heavy traffic of Rawalpindi to Garrison Officer’s Mess. We got there, after parking the car literally in the ground near it, as the parking was full. (It used to be the cricket ground. In 1980 I saw Imran Khan fielding near the pavilion. My friend Samia Khan and I were sitting in the VIP enclosure next to it. For the first time I had seen Imran Khan from close (about thirty feet away – and yes, he did look like a Greek god, like people had said. He did beat up the Kiwis the next day with his six sixes.) No wonder all the girls were so crazy about him!
The walk to the Garrison Mess became my evening walk. The building is charming and well kept as ever. As I looked at the people playing tennis in the courts on my left, I remembered how I had played tennis here too. (The coach was very impressed by me.) He didn’t know that I’m only doing it to reduce my weight, after the birth of Nataliya. Though she was only six pounds, I had gained a lot of weight. So much so, that my father-in-law joked with me saying, ‘khoda pahar, nikla chooha!’ It is a popular proverb meaning that we had to dig up a mountain to get a mouse! Don’t worry, I did get my weight back to normal.
Event by OAKS on Claiming Spaces from the Whirlwinds:
We entered the Fine Dining hall, which is more spruced up every time I see it, and the program was on. Shama Apa came over to receive us. OAKS, Rawalpindi chapter had organized the event. They are a group of ladies who studied in Kinnaird College, Lahore. This event was based on three extraordinary women writers: Ismat Chughtai, Hijab Imtiaz Ali Taj and Quratulain Hyder.
It was a spell binding event. Touching upon the history of Muslim Women Writers of Sub-Continent of Indo-Pakistan, the speaker Salman Asif was fluent in Persian, English and Urdu. His accent and vocabulary in all languages was a treat to listen! The presentation included many writers and it opened ones’ eyes to a world which was so modern and progressive! The women were of course mostly belonging to the elite and upper class, one was a pilot too! Some were queens and princesses during the Mughal era, which included the famous Queen Mumtaz for whom the Taj Mahal was built. Among the later ones Hijab Imtiaz Ali Taj, Ismat Chughtai and the famous author of Aag ka Darya: Quratulain Haider. The time span was between the sixteenth century till the late nineties; the hour passed in minutes, as we were in a trance. I’d love to invite him over to speak to our writer’s groups in Islamabad.
It isn’t possible to write about the lecture which was so amazingly done. Nor the inspiring women writers. How well versed they were in more than one language, one of them was even a pilot! Their skills in writing were matched by the lifestyles they had which were more modern and progressive than most of us today. I was so glad I went.
It is moments like these which make life so worth it. What I loved was Shama Apas’ tradition of gifting the speaker with a baby-tree of Silver Oak tree in a flowerpot. The group of ladies meet every month or so and call themselves the Silver Oaks.
Making space for passions in my life:
In the same way, I’m so happy somehow I’ve managed to hold art classes at my Studio for select persons. Really enchanted with my student’s work.
Meanwhile, my daughter Nataliya came from Seattle. So, that was a lovely and busy spell. She also held a very engaging and well-designed workshop. We all learnt a lot from her style of work and the way she managed the workshop. Of course, Waliya and I helped her too.
Through it all, I’ve read out the Holy Quran to my mother daily. In fact that is how we start our day, along with a cup of tea.
Screen writing Course by Mian Adnan Ahmad:
These days I’m attending a Screen Writing course in The Hive. I’m just loving these. I’m so glad I went for it. By now I’m used to people asking me, ‘Why?’ and my response is: ‘why not?’
Why am I doing this course? So I can make films for the upcoming books in my pipeline. To make is easier to communicate ways to better our lives in this world. How we can be more productive and useful to each other.
When you put it into hours, days and weeks, it is very do-able.
So, why not start doing what you love to do? You are the captain of your ship. Go ahead and pamper yourself. (Remember, we do it without compromising the needs of our family members!)
We only get one life – lets have an amazing one. No regrets, Baby!
I’m so happy my daughters also manage to get their passions fitted into their lives, just like their father did. Here you see Waliya at work. Nadiya is a wonderful blogger and organizing expert too.
Note: Most photos and videos are mine, except the ones of Nataliya’s workshop which are courtesy Waliya Najib Khan. The picture of mountains and lake is by Nataliya (I think, or me!) Also, group photos of event in Rawalpindi, provided by Mrs. Saeed uz Zafar. The pictures of Daphne du Mauriur from Google search. Hope it is okay with them. i’m extremely grateful for these.
Reading this blog in my home in Islamabad felt good. I’ve been to the border town mentioned here. Sounds interesting from the other side.
A page out of my recipe book: The Fun Cook Book.
Most of my married life, I’ve loved cooking. Then one day, my mother-in-law – God bless her soul- said, ‘Shireen, it is good that you like to cook yourself. Remember there are days when you are unable to cook, so make sure your helper is able to cook instead of you. Sometimes, you are out of the home or have guests, then let him do the cooking.’
Always wanted to visit Petra. Here is some arm chair travel with a brave young girl doing it on her own.