1. Cooking rocks. I use to detest wasting 1 or 2 precious hours preparing meals.  So I instituted the proportionate school of cooking.  Take Sunday to make a load of food, dole portions into Tupperware – hallelujah!  Good for the work week.  Lately I’ve rediscovered culinary delights – spices, unusual ingredients, exotic recipes.  Take today’s breakfast: flax pancakes topped with a honey infused strawberry sauce.

2. Trees are green. What was blatantly obvious never registered with me.  My new favorite ritual in the mornings is grabbing a breakfast seat outside to watch trees sway in the breeze.  Did you know there are over 100,000 species of trees scattered across the world?  That’s a lot of tree watching.  Can’t wait.

3. I can type anywhere. With a steady wi-fi signal, naturally.  The concept of not being chained to my desk or the printer for 9+ hours is surreal.  Nowadays you’ll find me on a patio, a coffee shop or my sister’s living room, pounding away productively on the keyboard.

4. I can take baths. Because of my previous insane schedule/life, I haven’t had a bath since the Bush years.  That is not a joke.  A couple of days ago, I eased my battered body into a sumptuous vanilla scented bubble bath.  Ohhh yeah.

5. I remember lyrics.  Music was background noise for workouts or ignoring my office mates.  Slightly weird behavior for someone who use to scribe music reviews.  I’m now hooked on these lyrics from Elbow‘s song “One Day Like This”:

What made me behave this way?
Using words I never say
I only think it must be love
Oh, anyway, it’s looking like a beautiful day

6.  What stress? It’s not accurate to categorize my current decompressed state as a vacation.  Imagine a purgatory of nirvana – time or events are ethereal and thoughts are never wasted or forgotten. Om.

7.  Public transportation doesn’t annoy. The clock ticked during my commute to and from work. Buses or trains served me, not the other way around.  Within the past month I’ve spoken to 2 or 3 homeless people, overheard a few shouting matches via cell phones, snooped at readers book jackets, or soaked in the scenery whizzing by.

8.  The nap myth is true. I promised a few months back that naps were top of my post-job bucket list.  They work.  They’re restful and keep me content.  I drift away on the couch, or someone’s couch and it IS divine.  Waking is never a rushed endeavour, but considered – much like a cat stirring from an 18 hour snooze.

9.  Food tastes awesome. I was an inhaler.  Suck back food quickly, so I could scurry to the next task.  In tandem with the resurgence of cooking, I find myself concocting 2 or 3 courses, then sitting down to a long session of savoring flavors.  My foodie days are here again!

10.  Silence is golden. No more jangling phones, barked orders, or Xerox printers whirring and spitting papers.  The quiet greets me every day with hot tea and a steady ear.  For once, something is there to listen instead of natter back.

The gist?  I’m discovering life all over again.  I only wish others could experience the same.  Hesitation or fear wouldn’t even be an option.  Isn’t our one life worth living?

Photos: James Jordan, Dirk Gently, book grl, Jerrold, Mara-Earth-Light, CanadaGood, Archangeli, stirwise, Anna Gay