Some days I thoughtlessly throw around the words. “Oh, I’m just high on life,” I say, shrugging away questions about an uncontrollable giggle outburst, a goofy grin that refuses to go away, or even a pleasant and composed demeanour. Which by the way is quite unlike my normal self. I am either wound up and it shows, or I am being goofy and it shows, or I am upset, and it shows. No in-betweens. And being high on life is a fitting excuse for all the inexplicable in-betweens I sometimes find myself trapped in.
But today, I think I might have truly felt what being high on life is like. Because at the end of a perfectly regular day, spent at home, I’m feeling so happy I could jump 6 feet high, and probably never come down. Its strange because its not the kind of day that had any momentous happening. I had the day off from the cafe and last night, I decided to use it to catch up on all my pending assignments which are really taking a beating thanks to cafe duty, an over zealous food-blog mojo and everything else I seem to have my hands full with. So I woke up, spent some time promising myself to run through my chores, browse the internet for just a bit and begin work at 10.
One month in, all this free time is finally getting the better of me. I have become the queen of procrastination when it comes to things that need to be done. I am constantly finding excuses to do the things I want to do, and pushing aside things that need to be done into the nooks and crannies of my life. Sometimes I don’t quite succeed in hiding it. One look at my fridge this morning would have showed you what I mean. But I got it done, with a little help from my ever-so-sweet house help. If you shifted your glance towards my bedroom, the bed that sported a growing mountain of laundry would tell you stories of how I have turned hyper-efficient when it comes to running the washing machine, and drying out clothes, but too lazy to fold them and put them away. It doesn’t help that the husband doesn’t notice said mountain, even when it was towering close to 3 feet high. Every night the mountain is precariously moved from bed to chair, leaving a trail of socks and underwear in transit. Every morning, the pile is moved from chair back to bed, under the pretext of folding and putting it all away. Soon. Don’t ask when.
So today, I did all of that. Chores, laundry, fridge-cleaning. And I even cooked myself lunch to have all by my lonesome.
But when it was time to get down to work, I got suckerpunched. Really bad. Effects of which lasted a full 3 hours.
I had some chickpeas soaking, for hummus dinner, and during my internet wanderings I realised I wanted to make my own pita bread this time. So I dug out this recipe and convinced myself that it couldn’t wait. That there was no better time than right then, to embark on it. So I did.
Somewhere in the between the first and second rise I exasperatedly asked Anand how the self-employed kind manage to get any work done at all. When I was at work, my self-imposed Internet ban helped me to some extent. Now with all the time in the world to do as I please, being the master of my own time and all that jazz, I feel like every day presents a new way to offer myself to Internet-sacrifice. Beginning to browse is a bit like taking a bite of the forbidden fruit. Because from that point on, it is all downhill.
So as you can see, it was a perfectly normal kind of day. A good load of procrastination, with a healthy dose of guilt, but nothing so serious that it could shake me into action. Someone really should invent an instant cure for procrastination. It is deadly, it is destructive and it creates piles of neglected laundry, unfinished business, and it makes deadlines gain speed as they whoosh by.
Lunch was had in front of the laptop as I treated myself to an episode of Grey’s, in the hope that a premature incentive might kick me into work mode soon after. No prizes for guessing what happened. One episode turned into two. And then three. Until finally I panicked.
So I made myself a stiff cup of tea and decided to get out of bed, and to the table to work. The good news is, I made some progress. Not nearly as much as I should have, but its a start, right?
I briefly considered skipping my run for the day, in favour of getting some more work done. But I’ll be damned if work gets in the way of my endorphins. Mama needs her happy hormones. So off I went. And what an awesome hour it was. The sun is out again, and the clouds are doing insane things. With winter creeping up its started to get dark earlier than usual, making the sun go down and leaving us int he dark by 6.30. Which, if you ask me, is ridiculous. So I have a small sliver of awesome sunlight when I’m out running, and no matter how much I promise myself not to stop the tempo and take pictures, Goa just won’t let me.
When I got back home, hopped up on hormones, I used the high to get dinner ready. The husband helped with chopping up salad, while I made the humus. And then we turned to making the pita. Which, by the way, was brilliantly successful and left me wondering why I hadn’t tried this before. It was like making yeasty phulkas, and I cannot believe I waited this long to decide to finally try it.
The exercise has increased happiness levels by leaps and bounds. I’m finally in the groove, where it doesn’t feel like a chore anymore. Almost as if on clock work, I know when it is time, an I put on my trainers and leave. Once I’m out there, earphones plugged in, I’m with myself. For the next one hour, I’m dead to the world, save a few Instagram and Twitter moments. And that sort of focused endorphin release really hits the spot, it does. Because for the last week, I have been coming home ready to bounce off the walls. Yesterday I was so high, I couldn’t deal with it all by myself. So I dragged the husband to the veggie market — anything to keep from staying in and bottling it all up!
Dinner was super sumptuous. Pita pockets, filled with a vinaigrette-y salad and hummus. You know how some days a meal does more than just deal with hunger? A meal can some time satisfy you at some inner psychological level? Dinner was deeply satisfying, and I couldn’t stop going Oh-Maiii-Gawd with every bite I took.
I don’t know if it was the post work out hunger, or the satisfaction of a cooking experiment gone totally right, or the perfect meal. All three, maybe? I don’t know. But sitting here right now, looking back on the most ordinary day spent at home, I cannot seem to figure out what is causing this burst of happiness. There is a sense of elation. Like all is in sync. And if I could I would grab this moment and bottle it for days to come.
Turns out some days I don’t need a glass of wine. Or the occasional drag from VCs smoke. Heck, I don’t even need dessert. It seems that sometimes, a perfectly normal day will do just fine. I don’t know what went right for today to turn out this way, but whatever it is, I need to figure it out. Because, by God, I want some more.