An Ode to Alone Time

 

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.”

~Marcus Aurelius

IMG_0118 (1)
The Astronomy Park and Garden I recently discovered from my morning time walk.

Do you acknowledge your need to recharge?

Have you ever tried to be happy by spending time alone with yourself?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not an introvert type of person, actually I am the opposite. But over the years I spent my life as an Expat, I have learned one thing , one specific need of my mind, body & soul – the need to recharge my self by time spent alone.You see, I have noticed that in fact, so many people who don’t take the necessary time to recharge end up feeling isolated, despite always being with others.

This is very common. You are there, but you’re not actually IN THERE. I knew this feeling very well because I’ve been in his black hole before.

When I became a mother of a very active child, I have never felt so little time for myself more than I’ve had in my life.I felt that I am always needed, always need to be there for this little human who keeps on tugging on the edges of my pants and shirt. When I am sitting down, she climbs up to me as fast as the lightning goes.

The times that I actually slept for more than 8 straight hours seems like a dream for me. It happened once, but I couldn’t remember anymore how does it felt. I always give in to this excuse that there’s so much things to do, yet so little time. I was completely wrong.I’m denying myself of one of life’s precious gift!

There are many times where I’ve been “out of it” while hanging out with friends , or just being socially active because I haven’t taken time to recharge. So what are we to do?

IMG_0108
I snap this photo of a man sitting in a bench watching the sun set along the River Danube in Germany. So simple, yet so fulfilling. You don’t really need constant entertainment. Nature is enough.

Life changes are real.When you are in a different place,  you literally don’t know anyone yet, or you basically don’t know the language, you just had a baby , and this leaves your mental ability to cope comes to a test. Haven’t you realized it yet that there won’t always be people around for you to hang out with, so you’ll need to learn to be happy by yourself anyways.

Are you one of the millions of people who doesn’t like to let go of their FOMO? or their Fear of Missing Out?Do you find yourself constantly hooked on social media and felt like you are missing out a lot?

I knew these feelings. But lately in my life I have chosen to acknowledge my need for a time spent alone and the results were far better than I imagined.This is time where I made an active effort to get to know myself and my values. I am are alone because I choose to be alone at that moment, and I know that I can enjoy myself even without company.

FullSizeRender (6)
A photo I took while I am watching morning rays in this path walk in the Astronomy park & garden. This garden is all about planets and the solar system. Just like this path, it leads to more discoveries.

So how am I doing it? Here are some things I love doing in my Alone Time.Most of these things are cheap, inexpensive and free. You just need to have the right motivation.

1.Spending time outdoors appreciating nature.

There’s so much lovely things to enjoy everyday if we will just go out & look. Even in Kuwait that is so hot & could be raining with dust, Nature has been my source of inspiration. A walk in the park, admiring flowers, or beach combing in the beach, or simply just watching the sunsets.There are a lot of beauty out there, so don’t miss out!

IMG_0120 (1)
Have you ever wondered how many types of roses there are?

2.Minimize yourself to exposure to Negativity

Do you like news? Yes, we appreciate what is going on globally. But too much absorption of all the negative messages is a sure way to kill and worsen your mood. Would you believe that I can actually say I can live without TV. The only thing that we can watch for more than an hour now is the nursery rhymes videos of my little girl :).

3.Meditate on your Values

When you are alone, spend some time considering whether you are happy and if you are acting congruent with your values. Not only will this increase your overall happiness, but it will also help you use your time better.I love doing this while I’m taking a walk and asking myself If I really like what is going on in my life. Sometimes I even do this while I push the stroller and waiting for my daughter to sleep.You can even try doing this while you are preparing your dinner .Unless you hate cooking and tidying up the kitchen then you might get a reverse answer.

4.Alone time means -Take care of ME!

This means exercising, eating right, getting enough sleep, and finding ways to manage your stress. The most common excuse for not taking care of ourselves is that we don’t have enough time. Combine this with your alone time and you will for sure feel better about yourself.

This will also have a positive effect on the time you spend with your friends. The better you take care of yourself, the better you’ll be in your relationships with others. The next time you meet with your friends, they would just be dying to know more about you.When you feel good about yourself, it will show.

You can also try to be involved in new hobbies. I do look forward to doing some art works soon , learning a new language, writing and spending more time in the garden. I am personally grateful that in our new place here, we have our own garden.I knew that some people like people watching, or pretend as tourists. It doesn’t matter, as long as where you find inner peace for yourself, then its your own personal time.

The time I spent with my husband and my daughter are precious. They always make good memories. The time I spent with my faraway friends either online or physical are always good times worth remembering. They make the days go by. But the time I spent alone for myself is good for myself.

I leave you with these words — make something more scarce, and it will grow up. Simple economics.

 

Thank you for reading and I wish you find joy for some quiet time with yourself.

 

 

 

Three Days Quote Challenge (Pt.2)

 

11050639_1204123776270569_5764494683959947056_n
N a t u r e    i s    n o t    a   p l a c e     t o   v i s i t  ,  I t   i  s    H  o  m e –Gary Snyder

Q  U  O  T  E    F  O R   T O D A Y 

“N a t u r e ’s  f i r s t    g r e e n   i s   g o l d, H e r   h a r d e s t   h u e  t o  h o l d.
H e r  e a r l y   l e a f ’s  a   f l o w e r;
B u t   o n l y   s o  a n   h o u r.
T h e n   l e a f   s u b s i d e s   t o  l e a f.
S o   E d e n    s a n k  t o  g r i e f,
S  o    d a w n    g o e s   d o w n   t o  d a y.
N o t h i n g   g o l d    c a n    s t a y.”

[―Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”}

The Challenge

Something beautiful happened ! Recently, I was challenged by Frank ( Jansenphoto ) to take on the ‘Three Day Quote Challenge’. Just in case you don’t know, Dutch goes the Photo is a wonderful Blog. If you want a daily dose of kick-ass photos ,then head on to his page. Get to know Him. Just click Here.

Anyway, This challenge is one of the things that I would love to take on since I love the idea of a Photo + Quote combo posting marathon for 3 days.

The rules of this challenge are quite simple:

  1. Post in three (3) consecutive days.
  2. You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  3. Challenge three different bloggers per day.

I would love to nominate & pass on this challenge to my beautiful friends here namely ;  ( Drumroll please! )

  1. Wordsmith
  2.  Seagirll  and
  3. Super Jan

Guys, I hope you have  time to accept this challenge. But even if my challenge won’t be accepted, I still want you to know that you  are all awesome and I am grateful to have found your wonderful Blogs and got to know you through your posts.

Have fun & Keep on writing.  Once again, Thank you Frank for the Nomination!

The World Carries On (Chronicles of Lessons from the Beach Pt.2)

“There are Far, far better things ahead of us than any we leave Behind ..” {C.S.Lewis}

Watching along the stretch of the Arabian Gulf gives me more & more beautiful insights everyday. One time while i was jogging along the seaside, I observed the whole stretch of the beach. This patch of the beach has a rocky part on the other side while the other part just after 100 meters have a supple white powdery sand shores, and when its low tide,  a lake-like formation in the shore appears. Just like a hidden Oasis. A lake WITHIN the beach. The patterns on the sand that the waves have created is a sight that i wanted to behold before the tides swept it away once again. This is one of the fascinating views i look forward every time i visit. Many times, i wanted to see if the small lake is there or if its hidden. It always give me the element of surprise in my beach encounters. I spent many hours just gazing at the azure blue waters glistening like diamonds against the sun   and realizing that the same beach who became  a  daily haven for Expats like me , is the same beach who suffered  trauma during the Gulf War in 1991.

IMG_3519
Arabian Gulf sand dunes

The Arabian Gulf gives us a tremendous inspiration of what is it like  to move forward in Life. It had overcome so much from the Oil spills during the Gulf war, it had its darkest hours, the deadly pollution that engulfed it, with roughly 13cm thickness of slick in some areas. It’s like a mask that hide its beauty. That was the time when the Arabian Gulf was cast down with gloom. If we could recall, it’s one of the Largest Oil Spills in our History since the Gulf war broke out in 1991.

A quick reminder for us of the deadly Gulf  War  after math that release a HUGE  1.5 billion barrels of oil into the environment,which is by far the largest oil spill in human history.

IMG_3518
Mesmerized by Arabian Gulf’s  sand patterns

The Arabian Gulf along with Kuwait have won on this struggle. It overcome those dark months.

Looking at the waters of Arabian Gulf now brings me a story of hope. Imagine how this beach looked like 25 years ago. While looking intently at the patterns I caught myself further looking forward and discovering new forms, new flow, and new explorations. It gives me discernment that some things are really  beyond my control. Sometimes it really pays off to just go with the flow. No matter how much I try to mold my life into something , there are things which  better be left on their own to transform. Whenever you felt like life had rejected you, after sometime you will realized that it just brought you to a better direction. I can testify on this one because It happened to me.

“What defines us is How we rise after we Fall “

As an Expat living in Kuwait for  many  years, many times I thought If I had made a huge mistake in my life for coming here. I had times I couldn’t sleep &  wanted to give up, resign from  my work & head on home. I am glad I stayed on. I would never ever imagined that my life would be so much better now than before. Seeing my daughter’s  happy face & wide smiles while we played in the shores of the Arabian Gulf gives me more joy than I ever deserved as a person &  as a mother. I have and would always treasure these moments.

See, Our character is being mold on how we respond when we are brought down. I am sure you knew the feeling of wanting to stop the time & giving up. It’s human nature. But picture this ; Have you noticed that no matter where you are, the world carries on? With or without you it goes on its round the clock rhytym. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The seasons laboriously changes through time. People grow old and new generation emerges. The world doesn’t stop just FOR YOU. Nature always do its own course. It has no stop- overs. It is autopilot. It always fascinates us, always brings enlightenment.

What is the hardest struggle you’ve been battling on right now?

Do you also find it hard to let go of your past & move on?

In case you do, Hang in there! I hope you find the right inspiration in your life to move on.

X