I was brought up to believe that a person with an abundance of time was richer than a person with an abundance of money. “More money than time these people,” my mother would say scornfully as she tutted past the bags of grated carrot and chopped vegetables in Sainsbury’s. I couldn’t help but think that a balance of the two would be my ideal and so began the elusive quest for a life with both.
I spent four years as a student with plenty of time and very little money. I then spent six years in London working every day and socialising every night – finally the money was enough to afford my lifestyle but the time had disappeared.
Now I am here in China for a blissful six months enjoying the ever-longed-for balance. I work a little, I socialise, I read, I study, I go to the gym, I travel. Oh, and don’t worry Mum, now I also grate my own carrot too.
an abundance of = a lot of
scornfully = without respect
elusive = difficult to find
quest = mission, search
to grate = to shred into small pieces