250g Greek yoghurt
2 tea spoons baking soda
Half a cup desiccated coconut
While whisking these ingredients together, I’m buoyantly chattering with my flatmate who is leaning against the kitchen counter in her pyjamas. We are celebrating our Sunday morning with a fluffy, golden batter which makes for the most cotton-smooth pancakes. As the two of us are conversing along to the pan’s zealous sizzling, we shake our heads over how fast the week has whooshed by. With time literally jumping from sunrise to sunset, weeks scurry away, one after another, as quickly as a stack of hot pancakes is munched. It is only now, on this serene Sunday morning, that my flatmate and I finally get a chance to let our thoughts and brains catch up with all that has happened in this week. No better time to reflect on what insights the past week has brought to me than over some honey-drizzled breakfast-dough.
The first day of the week wields a two-edged sword. Some people deem it as the day of the week where they lack motivation for their work the most. Others feel the readiest to power through jobs as Mondays mark a fresh start to the working week. Inside our bodies, we all have our own little clocks conducting a rhythm to our day. I know friends who naturally reach their sweet spot of productivity during the late hours of the evening, whereas my brain, for example, gradually shuts down the more the night settles in. No rhythm is intuitively better than the other. But here is the thing I learnt this week.
Understanding your own internal clock holds the key to optimal performance, effective time-management, and a successful work-life balance. How does your energy fluctuate within a 24-hour cycle? When does your energy peak and when does it drop throughout the day? Once you recognise these time windows and also respect them when mapping out your personal schedule, you will reap your potential more powerfully.
I devoted my Tuesday to some creative writing. As I sat in the living room, funnelling words into my laptop, my flatmate walked in and asked if my writing was going well. The truthful answer would have been not really because I lacked spark in my ideas. At least, I was familiar with such draughts in my creativity. I knew that every ingenious writing spree was followed by duller pens that could hardly bring anything onto paper. At the same time, I knew that it was always worth to sit down and invest time into scribbling no matter how inspired or uninspired I felt.
I believe that everything leads to something somehow. Every mental detour, draft, or unfinished exploration help the mind to sketch out and advance ongoing projects. In the end, nobody can tell how much such fluctuations in productivity and phases of sluggish progression truly aid in constructing a successful end result. This is why I said to my flatmate in response to her question: everything leads to something somehow.
On Wednesday, instead of me, it was my flatmate who felt stuck with work. You must know that my flatmate is the most industrious person I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She runs her own company beside her full-time degree, both of which she aces with top marks. I admire her tenacity, especially seeing how she combines full-time self-employment with full-time education as casually as you would brush your teeth while showering. Hearing this you would believe she has all reason to be confident in her skills and abilities, right?
Like everybody else though, she can also get overtaken by the anxiety that arises from comparing yourself to peers whose shine casts shades over you and others. If you ask me, she has no reason at all to sell herself short, hide herself, or put her accomplishments down. But you know how it is when your attention is drawn to apparent personal shortcomings – self-consciousness clocks in. In moments like these, the one thing to remember is that we all walk our own path in life.
Breaking with the pattern, Thursday did not spill out an eventful insight. After all, life does not comply with stringent patterns, unbendable expectations, or strict logic.
Every person in life teaches you something. People walk in and out of your life through the turnstiles of both routinely errands as well as novel adventures. Some visitors stay longer, others shorter, and some might even go unnoticed. Regardless of who these encounters may be, they all have one thing in common.
Every soul that steps into your radius enriches your repertoire of perceptions on yourself and the world. Because we all estimate reality on our own scale, there are as many possible interpretation of the world as there are hearts skipping on earthly ground, and because we all sally into life with a partial vision, we can only ever expose fragments of a whole. This is why other people will always be able to teach us something as they shed light to layers we could not discern otherwise.
Weekends bid for going out, dressing up, and celebrating. Speaking of dressing up, what makes somebody beautiful and attractive? Is it fashionable clothes? Does your appeal to others magnify through a teasing showcase of skin? Do tighter skirt and proffered curves really cause more favourable verdicts on physical aesthetics?
I definitely used to believe that and I used to choose my clothes for partying on Saturday nights accordingly, even if high heels massacred me and skimpy tops flash-froze me (not to mention the distraction from having to constantly pull down my skirt which would not stop threatening to blow my cover). What I failed to understand at that time is that beauty is not an accessory of outer attire but a mirror of inner feelings. Instead of clothes, it is your inner confidence, comfort, and content which enrobe you in beauty.
Here I am, savouring pancakes with my flatmate on this Sunday morning. While stuffing my cheeks with deliciousness, I am relishing my flatmate’s glee over the pancakes which I made with much love for her. It is the little things that bring joy, and no joy is as pure as the one you gift to others. Wouldn’t you agree that there is nothing more precious than creating happiness through random acts of kindness?