Day 12 – a meditative day of quarantine…

4 April 2020. Quarantine Day 12

3 more days. I can smell the “freedom” (aka moving back to my parents’ place). I’ll be released from my apartment captivity and upgraded to my loving family home.

But you know what? As I lay relaxing last night and this morning, I reflected on what the past days have been like. And if I have to be honest, I’m going to miss this time.

It’s a little strange because when I look back at my experience, I’ve actually really enjoyed having all this time alone – left to my own devices, to do whatever I wanted to do, and to tackle so many things I’ve wanted to do, but never had enough time to do. I’ve been fortunate enough to be in a position where I haven’t had to worry about finding a place to live, paying rent or bills. I’m like a lil child again without any of those responsibilities.

The best part? It’s not expected of me right now. I don’t expect it from myself and society doesn’t expect it from me either. In a way, I’ve been given freedom. I can wake up whenever I want without being tied to commitments – no parties, gatherings, catch ups, no work, and all this free time in a way has been a peaceful bliss.

Sometimes I wish I could get on with my life plans or struggle to decide what I can do in my time but then time passes so quickly. Quite often it’s dinner time before I already know.

Gratefulness

  1. I’m grateful for all this free time without the guilty pressure of achievement in this society
  2. I’m grateful for the positive environmental impact of our world situation
  3. I’m grateful for the internet
  4. I’m grateful that even during quarantine, I’m not glued to my phone
  5. I’m grateful for my improved fitness

Those were my first thoughts of the morning on Day 12.

It may sound like I was energised and all positive but Day 12 was one of those mornings which just didn’t start out quite right ~ I woke up super early and was very tired. I tried meditating to fall back asleep but it didn’t work. Even breakfast was horrible. I ran out of fresh fruit and everything was cold. It tasted like cold oats and fruit with the texture of vomit.

Gross!

Now, I don’t know about you but when I’m tired, my motivation levels are almost non-existent. I basically just meditated all day in different ways.

If you’re not too familiar with meditation you’re probably assuming that I just sat there all day with my eyes closed, legs crossed, arms in a praying position chanting “Ommmmmm”.

For the most part that’s what meditation is…but on a deeper level, the scope of meditation also extends to when you’re completely focused on the present moment and giving your thinking mind a break. When you’re doing something but not thinking about anything else except about what’s in front of you. In other words, your mind isn’t unconsciously wandering elsewhere while you’re doing that task.

You’re completely ‘in the zone’.

Completely focused.

I like to think of it as any activity which feels therapeutic. For me, it’s things like playing guitar, yoga, drawing/painting and cooking ~ particularly when I’m making dough

So now that I’ve given you a crash course on Meditation 101 ~ you can now understand why Day 12 was a meditative day for me.

For a few hours I drew…and drew…and drew…and drew.

Here’s my progress so far on some of them:

I’ve learnt that even if it looks ‘shit’ from the start, there is almost always a way to salvage it. I’ve also learnt that the picture will constantly feel unfinished and imperfect to you ~ I tip my hat out to all the artists out there

Then I got this brilliant lightbulb inspiration idea to draw an Mandalla dedicated to my friendship with Flemi as a thank you gift for her letting me stay at her place.

I started thinking of all the things which represented our friendship and whole bunch of things came up: dancing, shapes, gelato…cheese, a speech bubble. It was pretty cool because the ideas kept pouring in as the day went on (I hadn’t had a creative spark like that in a while).

Once the basic idea was in my mind ~ it’s like I became so glued to finishing it. Like it was the only thing that mattered.

I’m pretty sure I spent a solid 2-3…maybe even 4 hours on this through the day (it helps having a due date).

After all that time, it’s safe to say that I was pretty much finished with it to a point where it felt satisfactory.

Straight after ~ it was naan making time! Woo!

While waiting for it to rise, I did my exercises: dance, exercise challenge and…surprise surprise…a meditative yoga.

It was a beautiful coincidence.

I was so relaxed that I almost fell asleep during the sequence!

But how could I forget about that sexy naan I was preparing?

While waiting for the dough to rise a little more, I stupidly invested some time into preparing for an interview I had. I wish I hadn’t because all it did was make me feel stressed and inadequate. My brain was like an empty space with more empty spaces filled with nothing but black holes.

It was time to give up and get back to that sexy naan which I knew was calling my name. My stomach could feel it.

I truly couldn’t wait for this feast. I knew it was going to be good.

OK, garlic butter sauce -done!

Next, heat up my foodgasmic curry and fry these dough-babies.

The recipe said to cook the dough with a piping hot pan so that’s exactly what I did…but things didn’t go quite as expected. You see…the problem with cooking with high temperatures in an apartment is that the extractor fan can’t keep up with the amount of smoke generated.

After cooking 2 naans, I turned around the apartment was filled with smoke.

Shit!

All I could think to do was to open the front door and every single window…I may have also got a sweater and waved it around at the smoke detector (I was scarred from my old apartments where the smoke detector went off for the smallest things).

But luck was on my side.

Not even a single sound that came out of that alarm

Maybe it’s not working? Oh well.

I got through the smoke and finished cooking the naan! Without the smoke detector going off!

It was time to go to food heaven…

It was SO good that I ended up eating a second naan.

Then came the next dilemma ~ what to do with the 2 spare naan I had.

After finding untrustworthy information on Google, I decided to message one of my Indian friends instead.

Me: “Talia, can I please ask you a cooking question?”

Talia: “Sure”

Me: “With cooked naan, is it better to store it in the fridge or at room temperature if I want to eat it tomorrow?”

Talia: “In the freezer…because it’s got flour. Just put it in the microwave when you want to defrost it”

Me: “But I don’t have a microwave”

Talia: “Then panfry on a very low heat.”

Me: “Thank you!”

I knew she would be my saviour and learnt 2 valuable lessons.

  1. Only cook the dough you need to from a batch and freeze the rest
  2. The best way to preserve fresh bread is to freeze it

After doing the dishes, it was finally time to retire. I’d planned to watch a light uplifting cartoon but got suckered into watching the complete opposite type of film ~ First they Killed my Father.

It was truly disturbing, distressing, mortifying and plain depressing…all at the same time!

But it did teach me a valuable lesson about the communist ruling in Cambodia and Vietnam war…and it did make me feel incredibly grateful for not being born or growing up with a war and battlefield. It even made me feel grateful for being in today’s war against coronavirus. I’d choose a virus over a war of arms and bombs any day of the year!

 

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