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Post Work Rituals

January 13, 2022

What are your rituals for unwinding after work?

I, for one, have a hard time turning my “work brain” off at the end of my shift.

My problem starts in the morning. I am not a morning person. If I have to get out of bed before dawn, while it’s still dark outside, I’ll be miserable for the rest of the day. If you subscribe to the idea of sleep chronotypes, you might say I’m a perfect example of The Wolf.

Once the sun comes up, I like to wake slowly and ease into life. Coffee. Emails. A couple of fried eggs or cold leftovers for a light brunch.

After noon, my energy starts ramping up. I do my most creative, productive work between the hours of 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM. By 6:30, when I’m supposed to be tying up loose ends, I’m totally wired and have to physically peel myself away from the work computer.

In every matter of things, I am a fan of rituals. Baptisms. Communion. Moon ceremonies.

I appreciate traditions and sacraments and all the rites observed in calendrical patterns.

I adore the idea of a calming and fastidious routine—even if I don’t ever manage to practice one.

More often than not, I keep working until it’s too late, cook dinner in a frantic fit, and then proceed to mindlessly consume TV shows, Twitter, and TikToks until I can’t keep my eyes open.

In the summer, I can force a nice break between “work” and “home life” with an early evening walk around the neighborhood. But, I don’t like walking in the winter when it’s dark outside. It’s not dangerous; it’s simply too cold.

I need a ritual for all seasons.

Right now, my device is a fancy drink.

I shut the work laptop, head into the kitchen, and pick a chalice.

Tonight’s pour is a Ghia and tonic. It’s pink and bubbly and bitter.

It sings “unwind, unwind, unwind” in that sliver of a space, the snap of time that exists between labor and more labor.

The glass is half full. It’s time to put on a record and get cookin’. Or else, we’ll be eating dinner at 9 PM. Again.