I typically try to sleep by 10:30pm at the latest.  My alarm goes off every morning at 6:00am so that I can chug some coffee and drag myself to the gym before starting my day.  In order to sustain this lifestyle, I find myself declining invitations to go on random late night boba adventures or to hang out past 9:00pm.  I justify my abstinence with the following thought process: if I go out, I won’t return until well past 10:30, which means that I won’t wake up in time for my 7:00am spin class the next morning.  If I don’t exercise in the morning, I know I won’t go to the gym later, so I should go home now and hang out another night.  While exercise is important to me, is it more important than spending time with friends?

That is such a stupid question.

I am fortunate that so many of my friends decided to stay on-campus this summer.  Why am I sacrificing spending time with them in order to follow a neurotic schedule?  I am not sure of the answer to that question.  But, last night, I decided to break my routine, put spin class on the back burner, and cook lentils!

For the past few days, my coworker and I have entertained a strange craving for lentils. Since we were both closing the office last night, we decided to hang out after work and cook her mother’s best-loved lentil recipe.  Our office closes at 8:00pm, rather late to start cooking a recipe that requires about an hour of simmer time.  I knew that the prep work, cook time, and clean up would take us well into the night and I considered bailing.  I could go back to my room, watch an episode of “Sex and the City,” be asleep by 9:30, and wake up refreshed and ready to spin.  My evening alone tempted me, but I’m glad I stayed and cooked.

My coworker and I had a great time chopping vegetables, gossiping, and joking about the pungent repercussions of eating lentils all week.  As we cracked up about the mushroom cloud of intestinal gas that will surely form over our office, I realized that it had been too long since I laughed like this.  Laughing felt so good.  I didn’t care that the hands on the clock were approaching eleven and twelve or that my work for the day remained incomplete on my computer screen.  I was having a good time with a friend and I didn’t want it to end.

This morning, when my alarm went off, I could barely lift my head from the pillow.  I lied in bed, waiting for the pangs of regret from staying out last night, but I could only giggle at the memories from cooking lentils late into the night.  For whatever reason, even after sleeping for only a few hours, laughing provided me with the energy to groggily fumble with my coffee maker and bike to the gym for spin class.  When I returned from what felt like a grueling class, I was in the mood for a savory breakfast.  So, I ate some of my lentils.  Actually, I ate nearly all of them.  They were delicious!  I guess we will have to make some more on Wednesday night!  Though, I’m not sure our office will appreciate so much lentil consumption …