I’ve been working in plenty of cafés lately; shifting from one place to another depending on the day and mood. Mostly, any place that serves a good pot of tea along with a reliable internet connection is a potential office space. I’m not overly particular.
It’s interesting how easily I’ve adapted to this new way of working; or rather, this novel way of living. My life, which was once dictated by 9-to-5 weekdays and too-short-to-rest weekends, has now become a continuous holiday. Or at least it seems like a holiday to me, even though I’m now working even harder than before. It’s a pretty weird kind of paradox, but one that I’ve taken a very fond liking to.
There’s no longer a need to take the subway all the way to the city center and clock a certain number of hours at the office. Now I don’t have to waste time on commute; time that I’d rather spend resting until my body clock naturally wakes me up. I don’t have to ponder over what to wear to work anymore; if I feel like it, I change into jeans and a comfortable shirt; if not I’ll just work in the shorts and t-shirt I slept in.
I typically start my day checking a couple of emails and eating breakfast – which could vary between the gluten-free lemon muffins I baked for a photoshoot, some slices of toast and marmalade, or just a cup of yogurt. It’s usually something quick.
Once I’ve got my engine started, and see that the light is right, I dive straight into work – which no longer refers to running financial models on an excel spreadsheet, but rather demands creativity and inspiration.
I begin testing a recipe that my client has requested, and once the food is ready and I’m happy with the light, I style the food, then start to shoot it from all possible angles, until I’m satisfied with the shots I’ve taken. A short break is taken, during which I eat lunch (which tends to be what I’ve just photographed), and then I’m back to work – editing the photos and writing out the recipe, both of which finally get sent to my clients.
Sometime in the afternoon, I head out to a café of my choosing and allow myself to collect my thoughts and write. Depending on the day and what I’m writing about, I may require a more focused attention span, and sometimes it’s just leisure writing. It doesn’t really make a difference, because I’m writing, and that’s all that really matters.
What I’m saying is that, life is good. Good because I’m finally dedicating my waking hours to work that I love; work that makes my heart beat; work that puts a spring in my step.
A conversation with my good friend Jane and a new friend Joseph yesterday made me even more convinced that when you do work that you are passionate about, there’s no way you cannot be happy. Sure, you may be working harder than ever, and yes you may now have to answer directly to clients, but boy will you feel fulfilled.
Are you doing what you love today?
I don’t mean working on a hobby in your spare time, when you’re already tired from your 9-to-5.
What I mean is, are you spending most of your waking hours passionate about what you’re doing, excited to see the outcome, and feeling pumped most of the time?
Because if you aren’t, I’m challenging you to take steps towards a life that you can be happy and hyped up about. Life’s simply too short to do anything else.
In the meantime, as you ponder over what I’ve just said, here’s a quick and no-fuss recipe for rainbow veggie collard wraps – one full of color, crunch and nutrients as it is easy to prepare.
Spread some hummus on a large collard leaf, top with a few slices of bell peppers and bam!
Lunch is ready.
- 8 large collard leaves
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup of roasted red pepper hummus (I bought mine in Trader Joe's)
- Red chili pepper flakes, optional
- Place a collard leaf up-side down
- In the middle of the leaf, spread 1 tablespoon of hummus evenly
- Place a few sliced os red, orange and yellow bell peppers on top of the humus (place slices perpendicular to the natural line in the leaf), and sprinkle red chili pepper flakes on top (as much or as little as you like)
- Fold the sides of the leaf and then roll it up tightly to get the wrap
- Repeat until all ingredients have been used up
- Slice collard wraps in half, dip in hummus and eat!