x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Hala Khalaf enjoys pampering herself when her husband's not home

Hala Khalaf finds time to indulge herself and get things done when her husband takes courses every Saturday.

It is quite astonishing how much more I seem to be able to accomplish when Mr T is not around.

Saturdays have suddenly become my most energetic days, because from nine in the morning until five in the evening, Mr T is stuck in a classroom, listening to lectures that will help him pass his latest career-oriented certification.

I'm so proud of his readiness to always learn more. He has an inherent ambition that is a pleasure to witness, especially considering that I would rather clean toilets and paint walls than go back to school.

Mr T has no qualms about hitting the books, and has been doing so every Saturday, leaving me to my own devices.

Who knew so much could get done in those eight hours?

Whether I am lounging, guilt-free, in an armchair with my feet soaking in warm, soapy water or pushing a shopping cart at my favourite grocery store, the freedom to enjoy my own company one day a week is a little more pleasant than I would have thought.

The day starts off with at least an hour of reading in bed, and my reading material is, more often than not, the fashion, cooking and interior decor blogs I keep hidden in my Google reader. A quick trip to the gym is quickly followed by a long, leisurely shower, where I don't have to worry about finishing all the hot water. Breakfast is a sunny-side-up egg on toast, a rare treat because my husband is allergic to eggs and begins to have heart palpitations when he is within 10 feet of a runny yolk.

The day then varies. I can blast something very unmanly, like Abba or J-Lo, while working on that gallery wall of frames I have always wanted to dominate our hallway, or I can indulge in an hour of cooking shows on television while working on my 1,000-piece puzzle or rearranging furniture.

My other activities are mostly out of the home. So far in the past month, I've had a facial, two massages, an extremely successful three-hour shopping spree, a hair cut and an excellent cup of coffee in a cafe I've always wanted to try.

And during the course of my day, while enjoying my own company, I begin missing my husband. I buy him a tie, I drop a bar of dark chocolate into my grocery cart for him, and I pick an outfit to don with my newly coiffed hair and freshly painted nails, so that when he comes home he is inspired to take me out for dinner.

Saturdays have become a healthy balance of giving myself the attention I can never manage during the week, while missing my husband in a way that is very different from the way I miss him during working hours. I look forward to seeing him not because I want to whine about an exhausting day, but because I'm energised and ready to share a fun evening with him.

When that course of his is over, I just might have to encourage him to take up another management course or work towards another degree.

It's what any supportive wife would do, surely?