time which is spent doing the laziest of things, such as reading, thinking, watching, dreaming etc. It is the time we spend doing things we enjoy in order to let go and recharge our internal battery. Energy for day to day tasks can be replenished through sleep, but the most essential kind of internal energy—motivation, passion, spirit—can only be recharged through an extensive duration of reflective downtime
I haven’t had enough of that this summer.
Between summer co-op and my other volunteer job, I feel harried and tired. I haven’t had enough time to catch up with friends and catch up with myself. There are never-ending To-Do lists running circuits in my head and no matter how much I do manage to accomplish, I still feel like I’m not done.
On Saturday, I pushed all the To-Do lists out of my head and listened to my heart for a change. I forgot about the laundry, the back-to-school shopping, and the fatiguing family trip to the CNE. Instead, I went to my best friend Jenny’s house and spent my afternoon there while my family trudged around the grounds of the CNE. At Jenny’s house, we read for a while. Then we baked.
We began to make a key lime pie. While the dough was chilling, we discovered a carton of according-to-the-best-before-date-it-expired-just-yesterday heavy cream. I wanted chocolate; Jenny just wanted to use up the cream before it turned. in the end, we decided to make a chocolate cake and then fill and frost it with ganache.
When people say two heads are always better than one, they are wrong. Somehow, Jenny and I got it into our heads that we should make a tiered cake, wedding style. I would have never attempted such a thing had my head been the only one. But, alas, we proceeded ahead and made a double batch of cake batter, enough for one 6-inch cake, 8-inch cake, and 10-inch cake.
“What are you going to do with the wedding cake?” I asked. “No one’s actually getting married.”
“I’ll eat it. Or I’ll give it away to friends,” Jenny replied confidently. “I still owe Jonathan a cake.”
Never mind that Jonathan wasn’t even in the country at that moment. I guess confidence really is contagious.
Then logic and reason set in. We realized that three cups of almost-expired cream probably would not make enough ganache to frost and fill three cakes. Okay, so at that moment, our two heads were better than one. We decided to scrap the wedding cake idea and just whip up some mocha cream and serve the cake as is. Ta-da, wedding-cake style.
Then my parents called and asked me if I wanted them to pick me up so we could go eat dinner at the Restaurant which shall remain unnamed. My eyes widened and my eyebrows rose in distress. We’ve eaten at that Restaurant so many times that my brothers and I refuse to go back (we can’t agree on anything else, but we’ll stand united against that Restaurant). So I offered to go meet them downtown.
I took the bus, I rode the subway, and then since the street car did not appear to coming anytime soon, I walked to the restaurant. It was the best hour and a half of my life—kidding. I kept wondering whether I’d get mugged and cursed that I was carrying a DSLR in my Michael Kors purse.
Finally I made it to the restaurant and sat down. It was the first time I had ever met my parents at a restaurant; usually we’re travelling in the same car. It was the first time I had ever traveled across town and walked by myself in the dwindling twilight through a relatively unfamiliar place to meet my family at a restaurant. I felt grown-up.
The food at the restaurant wasn’t amazing, but it was still a step up from the Restaurant which shall remain unnamed. My dad ordered oysters, which I had never tried before. As I struggle to spoon the slimy thing out of its shell, I contemplated what it would taste like. One bite and I realized that it tasted was as slimy as it looked. I'm not an oyster person...
Maybe I didn’t have as much downtime as I wanted this summer, but my Saturday wasn’t half-bad.