Dear friend, I am a self-confessed maximiser, which means I love filling up my calendar. In the past, I used to get really annoyed when people ran late or cancelled on me at the last minute. My thoughts would slide into a whirlpool of lost opportunity costs and various scenarios of how I could have better used my time. Unbeknown to me then, I was wasting even more precious time getting stuck in the quicksand of my resentment.
And then I attended my first yoga teacher training in Bali and met a guest teacher, who had recently moved to the island. He shared his experience of making appointments in a culture that has a very relaxed attitude towards time. Like me, he started off feeling agitated when people showed up an hour late, or blew him off, but then realised gradually that instead of stewing in his irritation, he could choose to see it as "unexpected free time to have a tea".
His words have stayed with me through the years, and I've learned to enjoy countless cups of tea ever since — when people run late, but also when life doesn't go as planned (when has it — ever?). A classic case of when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or should I say, when life gives you time, make chai.
If there's one thing I've learned from the past month of massive slowing down, it is that frustration lies in the waiting; whereas freedom lies in the whiling.
As we ease into the second month of the circuit breaker here in Singapore, here's to savouring more cups of tea and, perhaps, enjoying the process of brewing them.
With all my love,