Let’s retire early, Shall we?

10 Jobs that will let you retire early – That was the first mail I saw in my inbox. Ironically, that mail was from one of the many job portals that I subscribe to.

Now if you think about it, the day you retire, the job portal loses one customer. Why on earth, are they advertising to something that could potentially lead to them losing customers, (since we are already in a highly hypothetical scenario, let’s stretch it some more)  which will lead to them losing revenue, which will lead to a million job cuts and eventually, shut down of their company.

Either they are really selfless and want what’s best for their customers or they are completely confident, that not many of us will actually read that article. Let alone, get into the jobs that could help us retire early. So which one is it? That they do not believe in what they just said or they do not believe in what we would do.

OK. I totally exaggerated the whole thought. Oh, wait. I have not yet read that article. Yes, all this even before I could read what the article says. Before my mind can think all this through, my hands quickly deleted the mail. Of course, I fished it out from the trash after my brain had finished processing this whole thought.

Why does this topic seem so appealing to me?. Why do I want to retire early? Am I not happy with my present life? Will I be more happier if I retire early? Is it the retire ‘early’ part or the ‘retire’ part that excites me? Is it that I am lazy and hence do not want to work? Do I wish I was born a millionaire? Is it all about the money ?

If I have all my basic requirements to live, met today, why do I still want more? Why do I want a bigger house? Why do I want a car bigger than what I have now? Why do I want a better job? Why are we always looking for something that we do not have?

If we knew and understood  all the reasons to the whys above, maybe this world would have been a far better place than what is it now. OR Maybe not.  I don’t know.

Maybe all that I can do now for myself, is to pray what Audrey Assad sings about.

 

 

Little Thomas

There’s this little boy that I meet almost every Sunday. For the sake of our story, let’s call him Thomas. I got to know Thomas a few months back. He was this cute little guy whose face and beautiful smile stayed in my head.I took a liking to him almost instantly. As I got to know him better, I learnt that little Thomas was quite an interesting little person. He loves attention but hates crowd. He is quite shy and yet, given a task would love to do it. Noise makes him cringe and he likes to run away from situations that he feels uncomfortable facing. I pray for little Thomas every time I think of him and I actually look forward to seeing him every Sunday. He is my friend.

And today, when I thought of little Thomas, I also thought of something he says pretty often – ‘Leave me alone’. Every time he would say that to me, I would tell him something along the lines of , ‘Ok. Thomas. I will leave you alone. But I am always your friend and when you are ready to be my friend again, come talk to me’. Most of the times, he would immediately start talking to me. The other few times, I would give him 5 minutes, talk to him myself and he would be more than happy to talk to me again. And this happens almost every Sunday.

So today, when I thought of all this, I found myself wishing that Thomas would know how much of a friend he is to me.I found myself thinking, ‘will this little boy every understand how much I love him? ‘. ‘Will he ever know how many favors I pull for him every Sunday like making sure my seat is quite often next to his? (No Surprise there!). ‘Will he ever know that I pray for him apart from Sundays? ‘.I know the answer to all my questions are ‘Mostly NOT.’. But I also know that little Thomas has a place in my heart and it does not matter if he does not know it. I will keep on working at being his friend.

And then it dawned on me, Unconditional Love. This is probably a teeny tiny version of Unconditional Love. If this is how I feel about a little person who came into my life few months ago for a few hours every Sunday, I think I am beginning to understand God’s love in a totally new way. I now understand why God doesn’t stop loving me every time I do something wrong according to his standards. I understand why I can always go back to God after I complain and sulk about events in my life. I understand why it does not matter what my past is like. I can always go to God for a fresh start on my future.And suddenly, it dawned on me. To God,I am the little Thomas.You are a little Thomas.

Would the next time little Thomas says to me, ‘Leave me alone’, make me stop being his friend? NO. Would the 10th time from now when he says those words to me be the time I stop being his friend? NO. I cannot imagine that I can stop being friends with Thomas.

And Neither can God imagine not loving you. After all, you are his little Thomas.

Take a Change

CaptureI don’t like change. I eat the same ‘Chicken Friend Rice- Basil’ from Thai Express every time I do not bring lunch to work. I drink the same ‘double double’ coffee from Tim Hortons in winter and an iced cap in summer. I take the same transit every day after work even thought I have other options. I shop from the same 4 stores that I am used to. To pretty much sum up my life, I have a routine and I stick to that routine. At all times.

Every time I walk alone, I listen to music. Two days back, I was stressed out in the morning trying to make it to office in time. I plugged in my headphones as I left the house hoping the music will calm me down (as it always does). And then for some strange reason, I decided to keep the phone in my bag and proceed to office, music-less. GASP!

My 40 minutes ride to office that morning was amazing. What happened, you ask? Well, nothing did. Or at least nothing that would make you go WOW. But, it was different to me and that was what I needed that morning. I needed a change.

On that morning commute, I heard people talking. I heard the sound of the train. I heard a little boy (who just got into the train and sat with his mom) ask the stranger sitting in front of them, ‘What kind of a phone is that?’ To which she replied ‘An IPhone’. And I smiled.  I heard another lady talk on the phone about an interview that she was heading to attend. I heard a gentleman walk up to the bus driver and suggest another route to take because a CP train was crossing our road. And the Driver did too, saving 20 minutes for all of us in the bus.

All these incidents are insignificant. I agree. But they were different from my regular. And that sometimes, is good.

Perhaps, you can try it too? If you drive to work every day, take the bus one day. Be prepared for it to take you twice as long to get to work, but enjoy the delay. If you walk the same path every day, try another one today. If you send the same mail everyday as part of your routine, change your words one day. If you have the same cooking routine every week, change it for a week. If you go to bed every day at the same time, change it for a day.

I enjoyed my morning commute to the office without music so much that I tried it again today too. I loved it. So does that mean I am not going to listen to music when I travel in the morning for the next couple of days? Umm. Can’t say. For all you know, I might get back to my music tomorrow.

The point is, change can be good. To appreciate your usual.

Why do I write???

As a blogger, I constantly question myself on,’Why do I write?. What do I get out of writing?. Do I waste my time writing about random things which someone may or may not read someday?’ And every time I ask this question to myself, I land with the same answer.. And that is, ‘I write cause I want to write.Period.’

Every one has a way of letting out steam.Letting out the feelings of the heart.Some may do it in silence, some in tears, some in a smile and still some, in a painting. I choose writing. Writing to me is directly connected to my heart. What my heart feels, my hands want to write.

There have been times when my day has been nothing short of completely awful.Times when my day turned out perfectly as planned and  times when I have been overwhelmed with joy.And in all those times, I only find myself wishing that I could pen it down. For as long as I remember, every time I’ve been upset with someone or something, I’ve always taken a piece of paper and written down what I felt.And it has always made me feel better.Like now.

Spring, Oh Spring, Do you really exist?

As long as I was in India, spring was never given a thought. It was only name of a season that I studied in class 3(I think). It never meant anything special.But the moment I landed in Calgary, I was told, look forward to spring. It is just around the corner. And I believed all of them.

Everytime I walked out in -28, I told myself ‘Spring is just around the corner’. Everytime I felt my legs going numb, I told myself, ‘Spring is coming soon’. Everytime I wore a pretty dress and covered it with layers of jackets, I told myself, ‘Spring is almost here’. And last week, when the temp hit around +8, I was excited.Looked like Spring was finally just around the corner.But, I woke up today morning and this is what I saw.

While the sight that greeted me this morning looked too beautiful for words, I’ve had enough. I refuse to believe that Spring is here. I refuse to believe Spring will be nice. I refuse to think that I can ever walk out without jackets.I refuse to give spring my hope. What can I say? I’ll believe it when I see it.

How I brought down the blinds.

Window Blinds, I hate them.Yes. Hate is the word.I confess that I cannot work the window blinds down.Up is always so easy. But the down part is a process. That takes a minimum of 3 minutes for me.

I remember we had window blinds in one of the offices that I worked in India and I never could figure it out.Hence I never went near them.I thought then, that if I had more time to figure the blinds out, I would ace it.But I was wrong.

In our current house, we have Window Blinds.For every window.The result? On sunny days they would go up and stay there for a couple of days before I decide to bring them down. Once down, they stay that way for a long long time.These are few pictures that I took before once when I was trying to bring the blinds down.

Yes, that’s how I bring them down.Inch by Inch and side by side.I have tried this over a hundred times now and I am no better .A friend of mine even showed me how to do it but somehow that does not seem to work on my windows.I YouTubed for a video that can show me how to work the blinds, but all I found are more funny videos of people trying to bring the blinds down.So guess I’m not alone.

So, do you have the same problem? Or whats your technique to bring the blinds down?

Letters from Calgary. Canada and India.

Dear Exwhyzee,

How are you doing?Hope you and your family are well.Me and Arun are doing great.I’m slowly beginning to settle into a routine here. We have quite a lot of friends here all living close by.So, that is a little bit fun. Actually, a lot of Arun’s colleagues live in the same apartment as us. It kinda reminds me of our hostel days.

I’ve been here for almost a week now Exwhyzee, and I think it is safe to make a comparison between India and Canada now.So, here’s what I’ve found so far.

Traffic

Traffic at its peak in India

Nothing can be compared to our Indian traffic.You know what I mean right ?. The traffic here is so discipled.Every one follows the signals. No matter what time it is.I can see vehicles on the roads stopping at a red light in the middle of the night even when there is absolutely no other life on the roads.I find this really fascinating. Makes me think about India, where we definitely do not have patience to wait for the yellow light to pass.

The pedestrians are given much respect here.They only cross at the intended places.NO random jumping on the road here.Lot of people seem to prefer the public transport.The roads are not covered with cars as in India.Makes me wonder when India will become like this.

Work Culture

I cannot comment on what happens inside the office, but the city comes to life at around 5 in the morning. I can see people on the roads hurrying off to work early in the morning and returning back at around 4.Gosh, this is an awesome habit that I seriously wish India would somehow learn.But I doubt it.No slogging overtime all the time.Arun says that Canadians work smart.Of course, we Indians work smart too but I think we trying too hard to prove ourselves.

Shopping

The shopping culture is more or less like India. Actually it’s more like Bangalore. So, I din’t find that much of a difference in this category except that the people and the shopkeepers are all very polite.Remember, I wrote about that yesterday? Click here to read it.There are shops here like megamart where there are sales  happening   throughout  the  year.There are a lot of Indian restaurants here.

A typical Indian 'potti kadai'

One thing that I miss here are the ‘potti kadais’ (read ‘shop in a box’).Back home in India, once you start cooking and you realize some ingredient is over, you can always run across the street and get it. You will be that close to some shop.That is not possible here. You have to plan ahead.

People

Like I keep saying, people here seem nicer and more polite.Last night, while entering the restaurant, a friend suggested that I leave my coat at the coat hanger.My immediate reaction was, ‘What if somebody flicks it?’. But I guess that’s the way it is here. I’m not saying that no one steals here but I am saying that maybe it is a little better here in Calgary than in India.

I don’t think I will ever be able to figure out who are the native Canadians. There is a whole mixture of communities here.Just like Bangalore. So, not much of a difference there.Just like Malaysians use the sound the ‘la’ at the end of their sentences and Tamilians use ‘inga’ at the end of their sentences, Canadians use the sound ‘a’ at the end of their sentences.(I’m not sure if I’m getting the sound right.I’ll tell you when I’m sure.)

Church

The church that we went to was pretty much like All People’s Church in Bangalore.So no difference there either for me. I saw a lot of churches here as well.Just like India.

Internet

The internet speed here is amazing. I no longer have to pause and wait for the video to load on YouTube.I can actually click on any playlist and let it play. Isn’t it awesome?

There’s a lot I can keep comparing Exwhyzee.But , I don’t have the time now.Will definitely write more about the differences soon.

Life sure is easy here Exwhyzee.I agree without a doubt. Everything is more organised here and it would be fun living here.But India is my home.And to me, home is where family and friends are.So, bring all my family and friends here and I would love to stay here.Else, I’m not quite sure yet.

Missing you.

Love’

Angel.