Hey, happy Labor Day, happy Monday! How are you doing?
My days of the week and hours of those days are all a bit off right now. We have been partying and celebrating life’s various milestones like crazy people, happy crazy people, and of course a ton of work comes along with all this much joy. So Handsome and I are EX-HAUS-TED. In the best possible ways.
Tomorrow we will more or less go back to normal work routines, so tonight I will spend a few minutes preparing for that. You know, just twenty or thirty minutes rounding things up and setting them in order so that bright and early tomorrow morning we can hit the ground running. Literally, in my case. : )
This happens to be great timing to reflect on how I prepare for the coming new week, because my local wordish friends at Oklahoma Women Bloggers are asking exactly that question. Click here for a link up of everyone’s answers.
Our evening routine is pretty simple, and Handsome and I have fallen into a gentle cooperation that wraps it all up in less than half an hour. These little rituals set us up for a smooth and stimulating sunrise.
- Dishes rinsed and in the dish washer, kitchen clean, wiped down, sink scrubbed and dried, kitchen floor swept. I call this whole process “zipping” as in, “Oh I’ll just zip this up, only take a minute.”
- Trash from the kitchen and two main bathrooms bagged up and taken outside. Smells are a big deal to me. This is why during this half hour nighttime work I usually burn a fragrant candle. I love waking up and entering a nice-smelling downstairs.
- Dirty laundry collected from around the house (there’s never much when it’s just us two), sometimes a full load started at night so it can then dry in the early morning hours when electricity is cheap.
- Downstairs basically tidied up. Not clean, just neat looking, throw pillows not crazy looking, so that the first thing we see at 6 a.m. tomorrow is not chaos but a peaceful, welcoming living room flooded with sunlight.
- Pacino tucked into bed, which at this time of year means his large cage is rolled indoors.
- Geese and chickens shepherded into their coop and yard. Speaking of shepherding, Klaus is getting really good at helping with this! He bites less and less and is learning how to run in overlapping, opposing curves to funnel the birds where they belong.
- Coffee machine is filled with exactly 7.2 scoops of dark ground coffee plus a full carafe of cold water, and the automatic brew timer is set. I kinda have to do this in an exact way or I have to start all over. I make sure a mason jar filled with whole coffee beans is stocked with teaspoons and set out a couple of our favorite mugs. Waking up to perfect coffee with a comfortable, attractive spot near the window is pretty luxurious.
- Before we walk upstairs and toward our end of the house, we say good night to Klaus and kiss him into his crate. I mean, sometimes he sleeps with us, but he is growing by leaps and bounds, so he takes up so much room. So much.
- Change out of the day’s clothes and make sure I have some running gear ready for the morning.
- Wash my face, brush my teeth, maybe do a few yoga poses or nighttime stretches. Lamp. Ceiling fan. So much romance.
Thinking of the particulars of our routine begs the question why? Why do this and that and everything? Well, the simple answer is to make life better. To make it more beautiful and us healthier and more comfortable.
When Handsome and I were first married I read a thick book, cover to cover, that details just about every aspect of modern home keeping. It was both encyclopedic and poetic, but I cannot remember the title now. Anyway, the author used the word “demoralizing” a lot, in reference to everything you want to avoid in your home keeping routines. For example, and I am paraphrasing here but obviously it made a big impression on me: “There is nothing more demoralizing at the end of a long, hard day than crawling into a dirty, rumpled, unkempt bed.” Do you agree? I agree. And I would say the same thing about walking on a dirty floor, trying to enjoy that first cup of morning coffee in a messy, sticky kitchen, or using into a stinky bathroom when you’re just trying to get clean yourself.
These routines are soothing. They are mechanical to me now and totally peaceful, conducive to a deep sleep and a smooth tomorrow. They are small investments of time and energy that yield big, wonderful rewards, especially when I perform them with a conscious sense of gratitude for what they accomplish. Especially when I move just slowly enough to press the details into my skin.
What are your evening routines like? How do you prepare for tomorrow?
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings,
turn routine jobs into joy,
and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
~William Arthur Ward