I've been busy filling my life up with a little bit of everything. Whatever happens, you always seem to fill your life up with something right? What have you filled your life up with? I remember this lesson I had in Sunday school when I was a child. The lady brought a big glass jar that was empty. She then filled it with large stones up to the top. Those represented the big things that we do, like sleep, go to school, eating time, etc. (I guess eating time is one of those biggies for me. Maybe not for you.) Then she filled up the rest of the jar with sand, and it filled up all the little nooks and crannies that were in between those large stones. Basically, she said that there is a lot of time in our lives. If we want to find time to do something, there is always time somewhere. We just have to schedule it in to those little nooks and crannies. That's how I feel me and Jonathan are working right now. Pulling bits of time out of nowhere and making things happen. I'm happy about it because this school year I've been able to delve into a lot of things that I wasn't able to last year because I was too busy growing a baby, and then keeping a baby alive. Now our baby is soooooo chunky and full of life that he is somewhat self sustaining. Here are a few things I've initiated this year.
1. I started to teach group guitar classes to children.
This has been a big learning experience for me. I love being around children. I find them easier to connect with than adults simply because they don't have any layers. They aren't hiding anything or trying to be something that they're not. I can be myself with them and teach them something that I really love. Unfortunately, it's guitar I'm teaching them and they are from ages 6-10. 10 is an ideal age, 6 is not. So a lot of them get discouraged early on. But, I'm having fun and so are they. Get them singing a little Elvis and we're all having loads of fun!
2. I began an Arabic class.
Jonathan began learning arabic last year and continues this year too. A nearby class opened up at a good time so I decided I would start also. Not to master it. I've found that such a lofty goal is unattainable right now. But, I can at least start now and learn how to read their words. I think their calligraphy and writing are so beautiful. I would love to learn how to write in arabic. Anyway, since I've begun, a whole new world has opened up to me. As we're driving along I notice the store names now. Here in Doha, the signs are written in English and Arabic so there is no need for us lazy expats to learn their alphabet. But now that I have begun to learn, I'm getting a whole new feeling about this place and these people. They are not as lazy as we might think. The Qatari's know both English and Arabic. They can function in both worlds. That is a skill that I cannot boast, yet. So, when I come home for the summer, don't think "Oh, Doha, that sounds so exotic. I wonder what its like there." Most westerners that live here don't live a life that is much different from their lives in their home countries. They find friends from their home countries. Their children go to school with other westerners. If their kids do go to school with Qatari's, they are very westernized Qatari's that don't cling strongly to their culture and let some distinct practices fall by the wayside. But, back to my point, arabic has been enriching to my life.
3. I began a crochet class.
I just started it last week. There are four other ladies in my class. One American, one Kiwi, one Lebanese, and one Qatari. I think that this class is so pleasant. Five ladies from different backgrounds getting together to learn a skill that is purely for enjoyment. I'm really excited to make some things for my smallest bear to wear. I know it seems silly to make hats and sweaters for him since we live in Qatar. It will never be cold enough for him to need such things. But, maybe at the malls? They sure do keep it chilly there.
4. I joined the Qatar Natural History Group.
They meet once a month and give a discussion on something relating to Qatar. Last month an expert came and spoke about the desert hedgehogs. This month a very nerdy and inspiring teacher gave an enlightening presentation on dragonflies and damselflies that are found in Qatar and showed us pictures he had managed to take of each kind. I'm really excited to go out and find some in this barren looking place. Next month a scholar from a UK university will come and speak about old Islamic boats. Kind of cool. I went by myself. Excepting the handful of preteens that attended with their parents, I was the only person under 50 there. Not that being 50 is bad, but I felt quite weird like I was at a senior citizens get together. Next time Jonathan will be able to attend with me, so we can feel young together. :)
The only way I can continue with these extra curricular activities is if I can maintain the basic curriculum of a stay at home mom. What is my curriculum?
Cleaning, cooking, remembering everything for everybody, giving love, wiping pee covered toilet seats (I know that should figure under the cleaning section, but I do it so often that it needs it's own category.), laundry, taxi service, making friends so that my kids have other kids to play with (otherwise I wouldn't go to the effort), closing my mouth 50% of the time I have something to say, looking attractive for my husband so he won't cheat on me, and having a positive attitude. If I slip in my duties, then my outside fun gets the boot. So, I guess I'd better stop blogging and get busy checking those toilet seats!