How I Keep My Life Fresh
It is 8:29pm at the time of writing. I am eating dark chocolate and checking out flights in Skyscanner.
If someone came up to be and told me to pack my bags because I’m going to Hawaii, I would not even think twice about leaving everything behind. Alas, my bank account very firmly tells me I cannot afford such a thing. So I stay home and try to make the best out of it. This is what I do to keep a little novelty in my everyday life:
I love cooking the way many love an aged wine: occasionally, left for those nights when you can savor it fully. I usually pick a recipe either form Pinterest or from one of the many cooking books stashed in my pantry, buy fresh products if I can afford it and have the time for it, and listen to a soft playlist or podcast to keep me company. I love mixing flavors and tweaking things here and there, adding my spin to old favorites such as shepherd’s pie or caldo. Cooking is novel enough for me that I enjoy it every time, yet comfortable, like slipping into a well-loved pair of jeans.
Read (or re-read)
I used to be an avid reader growing up, but now I find it hard to find a book that really draws me in. I always start them but rarely ever finish them! I have many books on my bedside table, bookmarks still between their pages, waiting for me to give them the love they deserve. However, those I really, truly love I will read over, and over, and over again. Some of my old favorites are The Book Thief, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, The Harry Potter series, and Flowers for Algernon. While I am reading, I feel like I have something to focus on. It’s just as odd as it sounds but it works for me—if it ain’t broke, and all that…
Explore my hometown
I live driving aimlessly. It calms me down, puts everything into perspective. I like driving down stretches of open road, looking for nothing, just for the pleasure of it. Sometimes I find a cute little coffeeshop tucked into a nondescript corner, and other times I stop to take pictures of the landscape. Sometimes the long drive gives my brain time to process everything, allowing it to move on to something else. Other times I get into such ridiculous situations that I have to laugh at myself, like that one time I stopped on the way to Saint Petersburg to take pictures and an old man driving a semi actually followed me all the way until I lost him entering the city. Creepy AF.
I’m all about taking care of your body and mind. For me this doesn’t have to be expensive; in fact, the cheaper the better, so I don’t deal with the guilt afterwards. I do keep one or two bath bombs in my bathroom at all times, as well as a face mask and foot soaks (I’ve had these for months, just waiting for that moment I need a complete reset). I also have a skincare routine I stick to every night—one or two steps for when I am travelling or feel super lazy; five or six for when I really want to pamper myself. Other ways I take care of myself are: yoga and meditation, copious amounts of tea, painting my nails, rewatching my favorite movies, and spending a simple evening with one or two close friends. I find that doing this adds a special feeling of self love that I rivals that of watching a sunset in a faraway land, and prepares me for the days ahead.
I have swapped the chocolate for tea, and just made plans with an old high school friend. A Margaret Atwood book waits for me in bed. Real life is still scary, but I know I can deal with it…
…In a little bit.