Things that are pretty great

So this was the first summer I spent as an adult AKA not having a summer break. Besides the long weekends for July 4th and Labor Day, I didn’t get to have much of vacation. But that’s mostly because I’ve been working for less than a year and I’m saving the paid time off I’ve accrued for a nice long holiday break in Dec-Jan.

I have to say, it’s kind of disorienting. I’m so used to being a student and having things segmented into quarters or semesters. I associate summers with reading books, traveling places, going to the shore, and working for 10-12 weeks at a new internship. So without any of those things, I feel like my brain hasn’t been able to register the passing of time. The other week I was eating brunch with friends I haven’t seen since around high school and when one of them mentioned she had been working at her company since last October, I was going to say, oh wow you’ve been there for just a month. But then it occurred to me that it was already the beginning of Sept and almost a year has passed since last October. But for a real second there I had no idea what month it was.

Anyway, this is terrible writing. Such a long, winding introduction. What I’m trying to say is without school and without defined breaks, I feel that summer has come and gone. And without all the great things that I used to associate with it, it just feels like another season. What’s great about summer? It’s just a season. Just another 3 months of working 9-6, doing laundry, and working out. Between that realization and all the news alerts I’ve been getting on my phone about the President saying this, how nuclear war is eminent, and how hurricanes are wrecking things left and right (and how Archie from CW’s Riverdale almost died in a car crash?!), I find it difficult to have any kind of peace or reassurance.

On nights like this where sleep evades me, I try to think of the things in my life that I think are really great.

  1. Green Tea – I start every morning at work with a mug of hot water and a bag of Mighty Leaf Organic Green Dragon. It gives me the caffeine I need in the morning, but I feel like it’s a slow release throughout my body, instead of coffee where it’s like a shot of adrenaline to the heart. Plus my waistline has slimmed down noticeably since I started drinking it every day of the week, even though my workout routine and eating habits have stayed them same. It’s probably some kind of magical plant compound that’s at work, the mechanism of which is beyond me. But if you think of it subtractively, swapping out something with sugar and cream for something without sugar or fat is bound to be good for you.
  2. Celery – I have to be honest with you, having regular bowel movements is a struggle for me. I get really lazy about eating balanced meals, and work has consistently gotten more stressful each month, so naturally going when I need to go doesn’t come so naturally these days. I’ve tried laxatives, I’ve tried drinking more water, coffee, eating yogurt etc., but one thing that works GReAt with my digestive system is celery. I absolutely cannot eat this stuff by itself because it triggers my gag reflex, but I’ve been blending it in my nutribullet with apples, oranges, and/or carrots and it makes it so much easier to take in. I can finish off a stalk and a half no problem.
  3. Gong Cha – Ah, the drink of my ancestors. Jk, bubble tea hasn’t even been around for that long, and anyway I’m more of a herbal jelly person now. Every time I get gong cha, I feel like they put something in each cup that says, don’t worry Madee, everything is going to be okay. The closest one is 40 minutes away and I’d drive all the way there and back just for gong cha. If you have no idea what a gong cha is, you just need to go see for yourself. Take the leap. Believe.
  4. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (The Pantry, New Haven) – I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy stuffing my face with the most delicious pancakes I’ve ever had in my life. This is not a drill. Seriously the best pancakes I’ve ever had and I’ve had lots of pancakes. I don’t even particularly like cinnamon…but I took a bite of these and I thought to myself, I’m so happy that I’ve been alive until this point to experience this. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to live for, and these pancakes single handedly proved me wrong. Seriously.
  5. Speakeasy bars (East Village, NYC) – I think anything with alcohol is going to be great time, but I went to speakeasies for the first time and it was super cool and super fun (I usually try to refrain from using “super” twice in sentence but it’s appropriate in this context). One of them was behind a nondescript door in a Japanese restaurant. As soon you step behind it, you’re in a dim room of candle light, expansive windows, ottomans, and tasseled drapes over looking lit up NYC streets from two stories up. Another one I went to was behind a hidden door in a telephone booth, which was in a hot dog shop. I felt like I was a spy or something. Hands down most fun I’ve had drinking in my many years of drinking. (Jk I was a good kid and respected the legally defined drinking age.)
  6. Jackie Chan – I rewatched a video of him reunited with his old stunt team and I cried AGAIN. The man is the definition of great. His devotion to his work is so powerful. He’s a stunt master, creator of comedic fighting, and a recording artist. He won an Oscar! Wow Jackie Chan is great. Please adopt me even though I’m an adult.

Well right now all I can think of is food and drinks…but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any great things in my life that aren’t food related…I think.

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