After the end of my grad school days I find I have more and more time on my hands.Four years of engineering followed by a couple of years in the software industry followed by a couple of years in grad school has left me ill prepared for all this leisure. Hang on now I am not claiming I spent all that time studying / working just that when I was not working / studying the guilt of not doing those things always hung over my head. My leisure time was so taken up by things that had a very very small learning curve like well movie watching, some books, more movie watching.....
And now with my much reduced ambition, money I don't have to put away for next term fees, and ALL THIS TIME there are just so many things I want to do. So many. I have no memory of my childhood failures, no idea of what I am good at or not. Also the stress involved is so much reduced now. There is no fiendishly talented / athletic younger sibling who is definitely going to take up whatever you take up immediately after you and then make it look so easy that the only way out is to pretend not be interested anymore. No cheering parents whose hopeful, bright, proud faces makes you wish you had practiced before starting this new thing. My dad after buying the two of us tennis rackets told the story of how steffi graf had taken up tennis at 4 and how 7 was fine for me. Needless to say I "lost interest" in tennis and stuck with stappu, dark room and chain chain as a way to spend my evenings. At that time these were not competitive sports (I am not certain that this is still the case considering the last Olympics).
So flush with all this time and up to brim with enthusiasm I am reliving my failures as a child all over again.
Things I have tried/ aimed to accomplish in the past couple of years
- Learn to write/ read tamil. The plan of course was to devour all the tamil classics immediately
- run a half marathon .. I could run upto 4 miles but then I realized I just run so that I am really hungry and eat without guilt. NOT marathon material.
- learn to crochet - did not open the learn to crochet kit till it was caught in my vaccum and had to be thrown away
- learn to snow board - this was very very painful. My husband has not given up on this yet and it might just be a question of years before I forget the pain of the experience and get back there.
- build a shelf from wood - OK so this was a little out there... but in my defence it was a LOT of leisure time and there are some amazing how to videos on youtube.
- learn to ski - this one showed promise.. thank my very patient husband who tolerated my cursing in Tamil and smiled with me while I grinned foolishly and shouted "this is great" for all the non Tamil speakers to hear.
- learn yoga - this was OK... but not high learning curve activity since everything i did learn was medium in complexity
- practice paranayama until my mind is completely alert, my sleep in totally dreamless and my complexion radiant from all that oxygen. - I practice pranayama intermittently but my approach is more damage control...
- learn to paint - this is the new one. I have spent the last couple of months picking art for my walls and staring at the many beautiful paintings and all that talent out there has left me thirsting to put some colour down on paper. When I was 7 I would break into a cold sweat in drawing class and try to creep by in my making a copy albeit poorer of what the more gifted kids were making ( one prachi aggarwal - her bright red house looked so vibrant and my version looked like a very inexpensively produced Japanese anime snapshot). I think about that and yet I want to paint and believe I can. Is this wisdom or has senility set in early?
I have also planned to re stain my coffee tables, sand and refinish my shelves, make a stain glass painting on my glass top dining table, read the vedas, read the upanishads, learn Spanish.
If I do continue writing this blog I am sure these and many other failed or partly successful attempts will find there way into the blog entries... Though I doubt even a written record is going to stop me from repeating these mistakes again when I am say 40... I think I might remember to stick to the bunny slopes if I try snowboarding again.