My mind has been in a constant whorl of late. I've been so preoccupied - kept on my toes constantly, and those feet are beginning to ache (both physically and metaphorically). The past week has been one for catching up on work, going out for a bit, and yet again, more work. Throw in a some too-narrow shoes and you've got a perfect party. Which is the reason behind me starting to yearn for a good foot rub.
But life isn't all about empty schedules and foot massages. It's fast. It's harsh. And it bypasses you without your notice. To combat that, I've been starting to take walks lately. A twenty-minute stroll in the evening, sans phone and wallet, works wonders for the soul and spirit. One starts to notice the strange shadows cast by the leaves, the silhouettes of branches which always seem to resemble limbs, and the queer, almost mystical beauty of the surroundings with the blueish tinge of evening light.
Another thing I've started to do would be calligraphy (the modern-english kind; I'm hopeless at chinese calligraphy). There's something so reassuring in feeling the nib scratching paper, hearing those light sounds, watching the ink slowly blossom across the page. It's a repetitive kind of activity, where the pen makes constant swirls, loops and strokes. It's very calming, especially in the morning and evening.
Either way, no matter how you detoxify the mind, it's more of the there that's important, and less of the how. Every week might not be a holiday, and even on weekends, one might still struggle with the work-life balance. Still, the weekends act as a form of sweet respite after the pounding pressure of Monday through Friday, which is akin to a pestle pounding chili - very intense. I believe that it's made sweeter with this duality between the two periods - weekdays and weekends. Without either, the other wouldn't be made as good/bad. However, I'm still praying that if the day ever comes when there's a three-day weekend, I'll be around to savor it.
Bracing oneself for the re-introduction to work is hard. There's always this reluctance to return to the world of numbers, characters and chemistry jargon. Still, as I said, life still goes on. To combat the all-too-common problem of fatigue and too-loud sighs - symptoms indicating that the week has been too long - date balls come as snacks.
I've always treated date (and blended nuts) and no-bake food with a sort of haughty indifference. I'm not exactly a purist, but I prefer something that's undergone some form of chemical reaction in the kitchen a.k.a. cooked food. Ironically, I always purchase this box of date rolls from the supermarket before class on the weekends, which is really not worth it, considering that it's $8.95 and consists of only two ingredients. And ever since I made these, my pocket has been fuller.
They can be rolled in all sorts of nuts, seeds, drizzled with chocolate, with cocoa/cacao powder blended in etc. It's your call, considering how my recipes always have a fair space for tweaking. I've used coconut and almonds here, but pistachios and hazelnuts are stiff competition as well. Just don't use walnuts - I find it to be slightly overwhelming.
Here's to date balls, dates, and being pummeled by the week to come.
2-ingredient Date balls
takes 25 mins / prep time: 10 mins / fridge time: 15 mins
makes 14-16 balls
- to be continued -