This week, for the first time in nearly two months, I had a work-less weekend. With several of my freelance projects wrapping up at the same time, I'd spent dozens of nights typing away til sunrise. A handful of Saturdays and Sundays perched at my desk. I'd eaten countless meals in front of my computer, one hand holding a fork, the other clicking and scrolling (it’s a glamorous life). Now that my assignments have been turned in, however, my days are marked by a sudden, somewhat shocking excess of free time. It’s such an unfamiliar occurrence that I don’t quite know what to do with myself. Should I run errands? Catch up on a month’s worth of magazines? Watch a movie? Take a nap?
If anything, this dip in my workload has given me time to unwind a bit and think. These periods of rest, these pockets of calm are so rare and precious. It’s tempting to fill the down time with more work, but at busy times like this, I’m often close to burn-out.
I recently received an email from a friend who told me she’s making an effort to “insert more joy” into her life, whether that means making phone calls to friends more regularly, or drinking less coffee during the week. It made me think: how can I add more joy to the cherished pockets of my life that aren’t filled with work? More often than not, I don’t have the time (or the energy) to do anything on a large scale. But what about little things? An amazing breakfast or an hour spent browsing in a bookstore generally makes me just as happy as a night out or a weekend away.
Here are a few “little” things that never fail to bring me joy: clean sheets. The smell of tuberose. Afternoon naps. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Looking through old photos. A glass of wine. Waking up early (if I can manage it).
What’s on your list?