On Me-Time and the Simple Pleasure of Moving Slowly

Dear reader, how has your weekend been? Did you finally get round to shopping for Christmas after sleeping in until 12 noon? Did you manage to try out that Instagram-worthy brunch place people have been raving about? Or did you stay at home in your pj all day, eat leftover pasta for lunch then attempt to whip up a proper decent dinner? Because if you did, high five! I did too.

Weekend is my favorite time of the week (who doesn’t love weekends?). It starts on Friday night, when you can go to sleep without setting the alarm for the next day, and ends on Sunday night before the pre-Monday blues kick in, motivating you to bring it on for another 5 days and your faithful friend name Weekend will come play again. I’ve been lucky enough to have a job that does not require working over the weekend, which is something I feel grateful for every day.

My last weekend was packed with a wedding on Saturday and a trip to JB with my friends on Sunday. It was a wonderful time, from deep reflection and pure happiness for a couple who were perfect for each other, to contagious excitement and total relaxation going on an eating and shopping spree. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the wedding and the company thoroughly, but somehow I missed my alone time. I’m the exact opposite of a social and party animal, but it’s been a while since I was completely by myself on a weekend. So this week, I’m nothing but determined to get my share of me-time back.

Recently I get into the habit of reading right after I wake up in the morning while drinking coffee. It used to be listening to the news, but I replaced it, because let’s face it, too many depressing things have happened. Reading is different; it is uplifting to start your day with beautiful words and inspirational stories (currently I’m on this). And it feels different curling on bed until 11 with a book. It just feels different. In a good way.

Then I got my butts off the bed and shopped for groceries after calling my mom to ask for the recipe of chả, an egg meatloaf accompanying cơm tấm, a popular rice dish found on every corner of Saigon streets. There are times your cravings drive you, and there are times your pantry has the supreme power. Today is one of those times when that pantry overflowing with dried vermicelli and near-expiry-date eggs took over. Lunch was a plate of leftover creamy chicken fusilli to prepare for the wonderful almighty cơm tấm later in the evening.

com-tam

I’ve always been fond of the dish, and today it was spectacularly delightful, not because I haven’t eaten it for months (OK, maybe partially), but because of the time I spent making it. If you have ever cooked with your favorite playlist on, you know that even peeling carrots and dicing onions can be such an enjoyment. For a moment, you scoff at those 5-minute meal hacks. For a moment, you dance around in the kitchen, washing those dirty dishes away. For a moment, you lick the spoon and throw your hands in the air “Why am I cooking so good?” (Watch Gennaro Contaldo, he’s adorable.) Dear reader, have you ever?

While leaving you with that, please excuse me, I have a glass of wine and a book waiting. Then I’m going to fall asleep dreaming about cơm tấm and my spectacularly delightful chả.

 

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