Crispy chickpeas and mind-reading (weekly recap)

This was a bit of a catch-up week for me after being away at that conference last week.

Also, I started a weekly literary writing class on Thursday night, and I am excited, but completely out of my element! I would by no means call my work literary (it’s firmly in the Young Adult/New Adult camp), but I took a class in 2019 with the same instructor, and even though it hurt my brain immensely, I learned a lot. I’m looking forward to picking up some inspiration for my novel, while squeezing and wringing out my atrophied literary muscles.

My Mundane Pleasure this week was not rushing in to work on Friday morning. I had the opportunity to go into the office a little late (I know not everyone has this flexibility and I am extremely grateful). I tend to get worked up about being in the office before everyone else (because I usually write for 30 minutes before work), getting a parking spot, etc. But on Friday, I consciously decided not to worry about that stuff, and instead luxuriously blowdried my hair at the gym, went to a coffee shop and wrote for an hour with my favourite raisin bran muffin and an americano. When I rolled up at work a little after 9, I found myself much more relaxed than usual and ready to jump into my first research priority of the day. I even found a parking spot on the second level of the parkade!

Another highlight was dinner out with my husband on Valentine’s Day at this restaurant. We rarely celebrate Valentine’s, but it felt nice to put something other than a sweatshirt on and go out for a nice dinner in the middle of winter. And also, cauliflower curry with garlic naan.

Finally, I made these Crispy Chickpeas in Spicy Brown Butter (NYT Cooking) along with a yogurt tahini sauce and served them over rice and greens with some roast carrots. Easy and delicious, if a bit of a calorie bomb when you factor in all of that butter!

Three things I’m thinking about right now:

  • This avocado-banana toast. I think I’m going to give it a go. Possibly even this week. I love banana toast (usually with peanut butter, sometimes with a roast sweet potato as a base rather than bread) and also enjoy avocado toast. What could ever go wrong?
  • I listened to an episode of Happier with Gretchen Rubin this week, in which she recommended not trying to “mind-read” (i.e. making up narratives in our heads about what other people are thinking). For me, this was a great reminder of Brené Brown’s work about how our brains automatically want to make up stories about what other people are thinking (discussed in Brené’s TED Talk here). Even though I know not to, I do this all the time in my relationships. I might need to put a post-it note on my computer that says ‘The story I’m telling myself…’
  • Is four hours the optimal amount of creative and deep thinking work to do in a day? In practice, I generally find that my creativity and interest wane after about 3-4 hours, but I often find myself pushing past that, especially if I know that I won’t have another good chunk of time to devote to creative work for a long time. Would I be more productive if I did limit my creativity time to four hours a day? Possibly worth a trial…once life settles down (ha)!

Have a lovely week!


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