Slow Days

“I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.”
– Audrey Hepburn

Its not terribly exciting, but one of the things I really like is “doing nothing” with Jeff. We both work hard and long hours during the week and make it a priority to spend the weekends mostly together. Of course we’ll occasionally meet up with friends or run errands (Jeff goes golfing with the guys, I will meet up with friends for brunch or coffee, and so on), but most weekends will find us at home doing un-glamorous grown up things like laundry and cleaning the house.

Often, and especially during the cooler months, we may spend whole weekends at home and barely leave the apartment. This is by no means an every weekend kind of thing, but during particularly busy seasons or after a grueling week, by mutual consent, we’ll decide to do as little as we can reasonably get away with. We call these “Slow Days,” and they have a very specific formula.

Pajamas and exercise clothing feature heavily. Actual exercise is optional.

Podcasts. It’s a bit of a family tradition but we normally listen to NPR classic “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me” together while we cook breakfast. Breakfasts are either roasted potatoes with eggs and avocados, or french toast. Almost without fail.

Naps may be involved.

We’ll play video games. Jeff is much more of a gamer than me, but there are some that I like and do play regularly. We may also play board or card games.

We’ll read. I normally have at least one book and audiobook going at any given point, and Jeff will catch up on news. We are both political junkies, but we take Slow Days to catch up on a lot of the news that we might have missed in the sturm und drang of the day to day media churn.

We will normally do a few chores to help justify our extreme laziness, but we usually do them together.

I’ll normally indulge in some skincare and slather a mask on my face. If I’m feeling particularly energetic I’ll groom my brows, wax my upper lip (let’s be real), and

At some point, because I’m hyper, I’ll get a bit bored and probably tidy something up or run a small errand. This is when my spice rack gets organized, or my pile of clothes that need to be taken to the dry cleaner gets separated from items for the regular wash.

Quite often, we’ll go hours not speaking to one another, even if we’re in the house together. Not in an unhealthy sense, but in a companionable silence sort of way that I’ve really come to value over the years. At the end of the day, there’s only a few people who I feel able to be “alone” with, without trying to be funny, clever, engaging, or “switched on” in some way. These people are my best friends (shout out to X. with whom I spent many a summer vacation day reading in silence–the stuff lasting teenage friendships are made of!) and my husband.

When you give yourself permission to have a slow day, what does it look like and does it involve anyone else?

One thought on “Slow Days”

  1. Oh hell yes!

    I think this is the only viable way to remain human these days — and to savor a cozy marriage. I have to be SOCIAL all the damn time to stay visible for work and not be perceived (cough) as a “digital immigrant” (i.e. old and useless professionally) — so being ALONE and quiet is fantastic and necessary to stay sane and somewhat cheerful in public.

    We only have so much energy!

    We read the entire Saturday and Sunday NYT (whew) plus the weekend FT; play gin rummy or Scrabble or Bananagrams; watch cool series and movies on Netflix.

    We all need rest so badly. Love this!

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