Thursdays have turned out to be one's much awaited point of the week during the past three months or so. It's that day when one gets to pick up the two teens from school. Both their classes are supposed to end sometime in the afternoon, and they often stay on for a while after that for their club meetings. But the road trip for this part-time dad starts early in the morning. That gives just enough time to pass by the mall, buy the regular pasalubong (a box of donuts), browse through those floor-to-ceiling shelves and the waist-level stacks at one's favorite secondhand bookstore, and have that cup of steaming cappuccino while going through the new reading routine: twenty pages per book per day (the reading list consisting of around two to three books). And then the second phase of that road trip, which takes one to the girls' school a full hour or two before their dismissal. In the school's parking lot, one patiently records details of expenses for the day - an old personal finance and budget management practice revived for this period of self-imposed freelancing. Then another intense bout with the books. Lately, one has also taken on the practice of jotting down full-page notes and reflections on the planner (as there hasn't been much meetings or appointments to schedule these past months since giving up that full-time job).
The long drive (no matter the state of the traffic), those minutes spent just sipping coffee and eating donuts and looking for new books to buy (as many as the new personal income flow would allow), and the quiet hours in the car taking in lines and whole paragraphs - all tranquil moments in these crazy times. One also gets to talk to the kids, a few exchanges now and then, in the car and at their mother's place. Or simply sharing the dining table with the youngest one, with laptops open - the daughter chatting with her friends, while one composes this blog entry. Perhaps not really far from what Tom Robbins might consider as meditative and potentially satori-producing experiences. That state of being beyond hoping and not hoping, beyond accepting and not accepting.