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She writes simply to put her thoughts together.
Sometimes they're well-structured, sometimes they're in absolute mess.
But always, they're personal.

Ultimately, this is all for Him.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Time vs Money

I recently moved out from my old house in E and moved into a house in C (which is closer to the university) for the summer. Cycling from this new house to my workplace takes about 5-7 minutes along flat ground (whilst the previous house requires 13-15 minutes downhill to uni and 20-30 minutes uphill going back). Besides having to only leave the house just 5 minutes before my office hour starts, I can also come back home for lunch. Talk about not having to pack my lunch early in the morning and have a very comfortable place to pray dhuhr!

Before moving to C, I had to commute from E by bus to my workplace because my old bike got stolen and I hadn't replace it yet. The bus takes about 10-15 minutes to reach the university with waiting time that can range from less than a second (in the event of my having to run to catch my bus) or 20-30 minutes (in the event that I missed my bus). I had to wake up at least an hour and a half before my office hour starts to get myself and my lunch ready. During lunch hour, after a very rushed lunch, I had to walk at least 10 minutes to a multifaith prayer room, of which I had to take my wudhu' in a toilet.

Having a bicycle is such a blessing, living near to my workplace is another!

This made me reflect on Malaysian's lifestyle, especially those who live in KL. So much of our time is spent on the road, getting from one place to another. On one hand, this is good for the radio companies as the demand would always be there. On another, too much stuff are wasted! I remember being stuck in a traffic jam in KL. When I looked around, almost every single car has only one person in it. Not just that we are wasting space (as one person would at least occupy 10 metres squared of the road) that leads to congestion, we are also wasting our petrol being at standstill or moving so slow at a time due to the congestion, and hence wasting our time being stuck in the congestion which could be spent to do lots of other things!

But of course, issues are easier addressed than solved. Most of us have no choice but to submit to such "wastage". Like in my case, I can't afford living in a house in C throughout the year. The houses in E generally have monthly rental of £100 less than the houses in C. So that's approximately £1000 savings per year! The reason that I'm able to do so now is only because I'm living on top of my friend's rent who's back in Malaysia for the summer (I pay a little bit less than she should). Although this house is undeniably cheaper than the other houses in this area, I wouldn't want to live in it outside summer because the house is too cold to live in. Even in summer right now, I stay in my duvet most of the time. So really, it's a matter of balancing time, money, and comfort.

As a student with money being crucial to life, I can only sacrifice what is free of mine, which is time (and sometimes, comfort). Hence the willingness of having to spend more time to commute. I guess it applies to most students too. Some are willing to cycle everyday through wet and snow throughout the year just so they don't have to buy the £350 yearly buspass. Some, make use of the little contact hours that they have in their course to work for £7 an hour instead of reading/studying.

Everything has a price to pay. 
If you choose to save money, then you are required to spend extra of your time and/or sacrifice your comfort. 
If you choose to have more time and/or be more comfortable, you need to agree to have less money. 
Whatever the choice is, just remember to spend wisely.

One of the characteristics of a mu'min is
"being heedful of time"

Hopefully I've optimised the balance between time and money in my life right now so that I can answer it well on the Day of Judgement when I'm asked "How did you spend your time during your youth?". Although, I do hope that one day when I have my own family, I can afford to have more time to spend with them. Wouldn't it be wonderful if by then I can live like how I am right now? i.e. not having to rush to work so I can send the kids off to school, being able to come back home midday to have lunch with them and arrive home early to spend the rest of my day/evening with them.

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