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Dubai Diaries: The downside of 'adulting'

Kirstin Bernabe-Santos/Dubai
Filed on June 23, 2021
Photo/Alamy.ae

It’s okay not to be a responsible adult sometimes, especially if it means being able to breathe and keep your sanity intact.

‘Time is gold’ is perhaps the most clichéd of all clichés. And for a good reason, because it will forever be true. Time is precious and it shouldn’t be wasted. It was only last week, however — as I was reeling from a credit card shock — that I understood why time was called gold: It literally costs a lot of money.

Poring over the endless list of purchases I apparently made throughout the month of May, I relived the moments when I swiped my blue-violet plastic card. Then came a shocking discovery: I ordered food online 15 times. I paid for laundry services thrice, even though we have a perfectly working washing machine and our detergent cabinet was well stocked.

I booked a Careem driver to do some last-minute grocery-shopping. I took a cab 36 times, with each trip setting me back around Dh48. Let’s face it, all these are expenses that could have been avoided if only I was disciplined enough to spend my time properly.

Most of my food deliveries were lunch meals. My mum, who used to whip up tasty lunches for us all, started working again so I now have to grow up and pack my own meals — which I obviously failed to do.

If only I prepared some food over the weekend and kept them in the fridge, I could have had home-cooked meals to reheat in the office. Instead, I spent my weekend afternoons lazing around the house. And since I couldn’t be bothered to do the chores, I had to spend on laundry, too.

Taxi rides made up the largest chunk of avoidable expenses. A 30-minute trip from our home in Dubai Production City to my office in Al Quoz costs nearly Dh50. However, if I wake up even just an hour early to catch the bus, hop onto the Metro and take another feeder bus, I will have to pay only Dh5. Yep, Dh5.

But what happened in May? I stayed up until 4am binge-watching comedies and dramas on Apple TV+ and Netflix; so, my body refused to wake up in time for the 11am bus. I almost always ended up with just 15 minutes to get ready and sprint to my office desk.

While I am upset that I miserably failed at adulting last month, I have no regrets. The past weeks had not been easy. I found myself grasping at every thread of comfort to get me through some bad days. I needed to cut myself some slack and take the easy way out.

And you know what, it’s okay not to be a responsible adult sometimes, especially if it means being able to breathe and keep your sanity intact. What matters is that after everything, you pick yourself up, acknowledge what went wrong, and find a solution you can stick with. Earlier this week, I took the bus to work, left my blue-violet card at home, and took to heart a golden reminder: Time is money.

kirstin@khaleejtimes.com