daily dessert

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I had an unexpectedly lovely evening last night.

It’s almost scary to realize that my day to day mood has improved as much as it has since I gave notice at my job. (My last day is one week from today. Holy cow. YES.)

In recent weeks, I have been nicer to people, even people at my office who I’ve tended to dislike in the past. I have had more energy, I’m staying up later, requiring less sleep, I generally have a sunnier outlook. And I haven’t even officially left the desk job yet! At least not in reality. In reality I’m still here, but in my heart, I’m on a beach in Hawaii, I’m at a yoga studio in the mountains, I’m on a scenic drive through upstate New York with my sweetie to see the beautiful fall foliage. How can I not be in a better mood when my heart is off having such adventures!

Last night, after work, I thought I might exercise. I’d already gone for a run during my lunch break, but I thought I could squeeze in a yoga class or something. Then I thought, Stop it! You have been rushing around, filling up every spare second, squeezing things into a schedule that doesn’t have room for another single obligation – for years now. ENOUGH! You quit your job to find a way out of that lifestyle, that madness, that struggle which used to work for you but no longer does. You need to break this habit, I said to myself. You already exercised today. Now do something that’s easy and fun.

Maybe I said it outloud, maybe I didn’t. Don’t worry about it.

I realized I’m really going to have to re-learn how to have free time. What an odd concept. I’m going to have to re-learn how to have free time that I don’t cram with all the stuff I want to get done in a day, a week, a lifetime. Work time is the time to cram with getting-stuff-done. Free time is different. At least that’s what I want for my life.

It’s not surprising that I have yet to grasp this. As any creative person with a day job will tell you, free time is the perfect time to do your own work. Because you’ve already spent 9 hours that day doing work for someone else.

This is sort of the essence of what I’m trying to change about my life by quitting my job. I want the 9 hours I spend working in a day to be filled with work I’m doing for myself. And I want my free time…to be free.

Instead of trying to cram more into my life last night, I went to the Time Warner Center, a big building several blocks from my office, in the bottom of which is a fancy mall. Just to walk around. I was planning to meet my old roommate and best friend Daniel at his apartment in Queens a little later, but I had a solid two hours to kill. So I enjoyed a leisurely dinner at Whole Foods (pizza and salad – delicious), and then I walked around Borders Books for quite some time. And even then I had to keep reminding myself that this was leisure time. And that I will get to enjoy more and more of these kinds of relaxing activities very soon. So I’d better get used to it, and learn to relaaaaax and really Be there. Phew.

What a delightful way to kill two hours. It was scrumptious. You guys. Find two hours. Then kill them. Bliss.

In between the visit to WF and Borders, I stopped at a fancy-town bakery I’d been wanting to visit, which happens to be housed inside the Time Warner Center. It’s called Bouchon.

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Yowch, this place is pricey. I paid $3.25 for a tiny little sweet!!! I guess they have to be able to afford their expensive real estate.

The little shop is tucked into a corner on the third floor, and it’s very cute.

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Their employees were helpful and pleasant. And their array of unique sweets looked quite lovely. (They also, I noticed, serve regular food in a little restaurant area. The food looked quite good. And expensive.)

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You can bet I would have snatched one of those Bouchon Ho Hos up in a split second if it weren’t for the $5.25 price tag, which seems like way too much to spend on a sweet treat. (To be honest, I probably would’ve persuaded myself to spend it, though, if I weren’t trying to be frugal right now.)

I chose this little guy instead, a Fuhgeddaboutit:

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A rice krispie treat, topped with salted caramel, covered entirely in chocolate. Right up my alley.

I cut it in half so that I could give the other half to Daniel when I saw him later. I took one bite right away, and ate the rest when I gave Dan his half. It was tasty, salty, sweet and I enjoyed it. But it wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t “fuhgeddaboutit” good. Sorry, Bouchon. If you’re going to call something a fuhgeddaboutit, I personally feel that it has to be in-cred-ible.

All in all, though, I’m glad I checked out this fancy bakery. I don’t think I’ll be going back soon, but I enjoyed my visit, as part of well-balanced, relaxing free time.

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