Running Out of Time

I am running out of something, besides the ozone layer, oil, the middle class gap, and my hairline.

I'm running out of time. They say the end times will come when the days get shorter - is it the end of time?

7:30 am - Baby wakes up, we bring him to our bed from his bedroom, if we're lucky he gives us another half hour to lounge.

8:00 am - Coffee in bed, baby's doing back flips, and the cat wants breakfast.

8:30 am - Breakfast table, we're munching on cereal and eggs. Baby's testing his pitching arm with the eggs.

9:45 am - Gym, drop off baby at the gym romper room. I'm off doing my routine, Sonia's doing cardio for an hour.

11:15 am - Home, baby's dozed off in the car. Put him to bed to nap. Shower, I head for my office (at home), Sonia's checking her email, and working in the kitchen. I work on voice-overs for a new commercial we're producing for a national client.

1:00 pm - Baby's up. Diaper change (she does it), and Sonia's working on something for lunch. I continue working on the voice-overs, and getting through emails.

1:30 pm - Lunch. Baby continues to practice pitching food at the window, the floor, the cupboards, and the cat. The cat is not amused.

2:45 pm - Back to work in the office, Sonia's doing housework and other chores. She's also cooking a meal for guests for dinner. My boss and his wife are coming over, he's heading to Pakistan in a week, and wants me to tell him what Pakistan is about. Even though I was born there, I'm like a fish out of water, but I agree to try and give him my input.

3:00 pm - Radio Shack, buying webcams, so I can stay in touch with the family while I'm away. Sonia's calling me on my cell phone. I stop at Tom Thumb's and buy some potatoes, diet soda, and the rest of the items on the list. I grab a cookie and hand it to Zakaria. Baby eats half of it, and lobs a chunk into a stack of lettuce.

4:00 pm - Home, kitchen's in full swing. I get back to work, and download courses I'm working on to complete my PMP. I back up videos and data I'll need on the trip. I back up video tapes. Baby's on the floor in my office - grabbing DVDs and paper from the shelf, throwing them against the filing cabinet. I look at the DVDs - nothing critical, so I smile at him, he laughs, and keeps lobbing.

4:45 pm - I call my brother in Washington, ask him how the shoot's going. He's helping shoot a documentary about the HLF (Holy Land Foundation) case. The director asked us to get involved so we did.

5:30 pm - Sonia's reminds me for the third time, that I can't answer the door in my pajamas. I do the math, 1 minute to walk to the bedroom, 1 minute to put on some pants, and a shirt - plenty of time to do that and then answer the door. Can't figure what she's worked up about.

5:45 pm - Ali and wife, Sana arrive for dinner. Sonia "You still didn't change?!". I go and change, actually takes me an extra minute - I forgot about the belt.

6:15 pm - John and his wife, Michele arrive. The house smells like a restaurant in Karachi now. He wanted to know what Pakistan is like. Lesson 1 - curry.

6:30 pm - Nikhat, my sister-in-law, arrives on Pakistani time. Lesson 2 - time management.

7:00 pm - Dinner, Curry chicken, lentils, rice, yogurt and achar. Baby lobs pieces of chicken and rice at the cat. The cat remains unamused.

7:30 pm - Michele's getting the low-down from Nikhat on how to shop for the perfect bangles. John's becomes an innocent bystander. The business etiquettes was covered in the first 2 minutes. Lesson 3 - shopping.

8:30 pm - Kisses and hugs, everyone leaves. Kitchen is piled with dishes, and baby's wondering what the heck he's still doing up.

9:00 pm - We're giving the baby a bath, he's pitching plastic Nemo and all his Disney friends at us.

9:45 pm - Diaper change, bedtime clothing, milk, and his lullaby CD. He's finally falling asleep. I put him in his bed, and put his teddy bear next to him. He yanks the teddy's arm - and lobs it out of the crib. We turn off the light and creep out of the room.

10:15 pm - Bed, TV, and prayers.

11:15 pm - zzzzzzzzzz

This was yesterday, and a Saturday. On weekdays, throw in work, baby's Gymboree classes, and other regular scheduled activities and unforeseen happenings.

So, I'm running out of time, or maybe time is not the issue, maybe it's the schedule. Was it like this for our parents? Well, they didn't have the Internet, and family's usually had relatives to help out. Then again, I know it's not like this for everyone, I've got friends who wake up at 11, and tell me, they still are tired (that's usually when I hang up on them).

Time keeps on ticking. In the eternal progress, the details get lost. Step back, breathe. Try to remember the greater arc. Maybe the Buddhists, monks, Imams have it right. Stop. Breathe. Even if it's for 5 minutes, between the phone calls, Internet, gym, and baby's next throw.

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About Naeem Randhawa

Naeem Randhawa is a filmmaker, travel writer, and IT project manager, living in Dallas with his wife and baby boy. He has been writing about travel for over 12 years, and made his film directorial debut last year, with a film about fasting called “American Ramadan.” Having traveled almost every state in the US, Canada, as well as international destinations, his travel writings cover everything from adventure trails across White Sands in New Mexico, exclusive resorts in Quebec, Baja trekking in Mexico, to the many travel destinations in the US. He is currently developing a diversity based travel show, to premiere later this year. A self-starter, he taught himself filmmaking, to add a voice in countering the current media bias and void of Muslim representation in mainstream media. Last year, the film was picked up and broadcast by Link TV, Geo TV, Bridges TV, as well as international networks. This year the documentary will air across 50 PBS stations this year, and reach over 70 million TV US homes. He has also shot, and produced over 70 field television reports for a national satellite network, reporting on the Muslim community locally in Dallas, and at large. Highlights include coverage of on-the-ground reporting from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and many others. He is currently working on research for his next documentary projects, about Hajj, Muslims in the US Army, Faith conversion stories, and a PSA for a national organization. His media website can be viewed here at JustSayGoFILMS.com.

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