You know that thing you experience every once in a while where you see a belonging a friend possesses and you quickly become Gollum-level-obssessed with owning it too? You get all “myyyy preeeecioooousssss’ about it and MUST own the thing or you will surely turn into a shriveled up old Hobbit? Yeah. That is exactly how I felt about Lara Pulver’s teapot when I stayed with her in London last September. I saw that she owned, used and loved a perfect PERFECT little teapot and basically I TURNED INTO SMEAGAL. Frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t put it in my luggage but I resisted and simply did the next best thing: I turned it upside down, wrote down all the information, and bought my very own that I now covet beyond all reckoning. I adore both it and the tea it makes.
I use it every morning, but on days off I am able to indulge in it even more.
2. Walking without “purpose”
Nothing clears my head, organized my thoughts, and fills my lungs with goodness better than walking. What began as a family tradition (going on “The Walk” —walking from our front yard, up the hill to Cranbrook Road, around the bend and back again on the border of Birmingham and Beverly Hills, Michigan), is now a way of life. I live in New York City now, which offers better city-walking than almost any other place on earth, but I don’t discriminate—take to the streets and the mind will clear, calm and steady itself. Rain or shine.
Sometimes I walk to music, more often these days to podcasts or audiobooks, sometimes to silence, or simply making myself available to the sounds of the streets themselves.
And there is no time to enjoy walking more than when there is no time table to keep— one can utterly trust their instincts, follow their gut wherever they wish to go, and allow fate to blow you where you “need” to go.
Afterall, I live in New York City! There is always something to take in. But you don't have to live in the city that never sleep to find an adventure.
Reading for leisure is a true luxury nowadays, and while I enjoy an audiobook like you cannot believe, there is nothing that can compare to holding a real book in your hands—its weight, feeling each paper page between your fingertips, and the joy of a margin note or the carnal love of the crack of a book’s spine.
So, for a couple hours every day off, I’ll just be over here snuggled up with my cat, reading Anna Karenina, thanks.Speaking of which...
4. Snuggling with Tatiana
...Who wouldn't want to snuggle up with THIS GOOSE?!
5. Calling / connecting with / touching base with close friends
I try to have a meaningful interaction with at least one person on my “apocalypse list.” It doesn't have to be long or particularly meaningful, just a little "Hello, I'm glad you are in the world."
It keeps me grounded and in touch with what matters.
I like to cook the majority of my own meals, and when you are on an 8-shows-a-week schedule, cooking for yourself can be a real humdinger. Luckily I have a SYSTEM!
The first part of said system is buying a bunch of delicious organic meats and vegetables and things in bulk about twice a year, bagging them up with labels and putting them in my freezer.
Second, on my days off I look ahead at the week to come and pull out a few bags of frozen delights, combine them with a few recently purchased goodies and do a great big cookout (because it takes the same amount of time to cook one chicken breast as it does to cook seven…)
It’s also a great way to relax, invest in your health and well-being, and to listen to lovely music or a good book, all while making magic in my lovely kitchen. Then Ta-DAAA! A week’s worth of delights are ready to go!
Nothing brings me greater creative joy than engaging in creative writing.
Here are a few of my favorites: