Wind-down Rituals

 

In early 2016, not long after we moved to Nebraska, Mr. Midwest and I began what now feels like a sacred nightly routine.

Once my workday is over and my “have-to” list is complete, including some exercise, I leave the home office and join Mr. M (and sometimes my mother-in-law, a.k.a. Bonus Mom, who shares our home with us.)

First, we turn on the Twitch livestream of our friend, Jack Danger. It’s just him playing one of the pinball games in his collection, accompanied by random (and sometimes inappropriate) commentary. While that’s on, we catch each other up on the day’s events and any news from our almost 25-year-old son while putting something together for dinner.

Then we watch an episode of whatever series we’re obsessed with, binge-watching watching at the time.

Then we enjoy about 30 minutes of some of our favorite YouTubers, typically in this order:

— Guitar of the Day (Norman’s Rare Guitars in LA or Mark Agnesi from Gibson)

— A short update video on the Dallas Cowboys from here or here.

— One or two filmmaker videos that show some cool technique or new camera or lens. Like this guy or this guy, and even this guy. Oddly enough, they’re all from Canada… weird, right?! Perhaps it’s time for Mr. M to start his own…

— Then some of the Walking Commuter’s daily video of NYC. I’ve particularly enjoyed this week’s videos because NYC is blanketed in snow (one of my most favorite things.)

Our “watch sessions” are always punctuated with our commentary and discussion on the client and video/film projects we are currently working on and, of course, jokes and banter.

But our day together is not complete until we watch the live penguins cam at the Kansas City Zoo. Mr. Midwest has even semi-adopted and named one of the birds “Slippery Pete” because (1) it’s a tongue-in-cheek hat tip to the show “Sneaky Pete,” and (2) Slippery Pete is usually up to some funny shenanigans. 🐧

Live penguins cam at the KC zoo

Maybe it’s weird that I snapped a photo of our tv while we were watching the penguin cam? Oh well. ;)

Mr. M and I have almost opposite schedules, so I go to bed long before he does. I put an exclamation mark on my day with a little time here on R, followed by some journaling, reading, music, and prayer.

With long, intense work hours, the routine and recreation of our evenings help me untie the knots of the day, lighten (and sometimes quiet) my mind, and settle back into myself. A nightcap doesn’t hurt, either.

What routines do you have that you look forward to each day?

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  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    This is beautifully written, Midwest Southerner, not only clever but warm. It brings this stranger cheer just reading about your well thought out choices for listening, watching and reading. Thanks!

    • #1
  2. Midwest Southerner Coolidge
    Midwest Southerner
    @MidwestSoutherner

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    This is beautifully written, Midwest Southerner, not only clever but warm. It brings this stranger cheer just reading about your well thought out choices for listening, watching and reading. Thanks!

    Awww, thanks @garymcvey! So glad you enjoyed it. :)

    • #2
  3. American Abroad Thatcher
    American Abroad
    @AmericanAbroad

    I certainly don’t do this everyday, but a cigar with an Islay whisky and a Bruckner symphony on is one of may favorite weekend routines.  (The cigar and whisky are requied, but sometimes Bruckner gets replaced by something else.)

    I really like this post, but I fear that if I click on your delightful links that I will become addicted!

    • #3
  4. Midwest Southerner Coolidge
    Midwest Southerner
    @MidwestSoutherner

    American Abroad (View Comment):
    I certainly don’t do this everyday, but a cigar with an Islay whisky and a Bruckner symphony on is one of may favorite weekend routines. (The cigar and whisky are requied, but sometimes Bruckner gets replaced by something else.)

    I’m a classically trained pianist, so you had me at Bruckner.

    I shall, however, pass on the cigar (not the whiskey, ha!)

    • #4
  5. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Midwest Southerner (View Comment):

    American Abroad (View Comment):
    I certainly don’t do this everyday, but a cigar with an Islay whisky and a Bruckner symphony on is one of may favorite weekend routines. (The cigar and whisky are requied, but sometimes Bruckner gets replaced by something else.)

    I’m a classically trained pianist, so you had me at Bruckner.

    I shall, however, pass on the cigar (not the whiskey, ha!)

    I recall a great cigar and whiskey story told by liberal comedian and friend of JFK Mort Sahl.   As he told it, he was once at some function or other and found himself seated at the same table as General Alexander Haig.   He was prepared to despise Haig but surprised himself by finding Haig charming and funny.   They hit it off so we’ll that afterwards Haig invited him to his hotel for drinks and cigars.    When they got there, Haig produced 2 fine Cubanos.   Sahl asked how Haig reconciled his politics with smoking Castro’s cigars?  From amid a cloud of fragrant smoke and without missing a beat Haig replied… “I don’t think of it as smoking Castro’s cigars.  I prefer to think of it as burning his crops to the ground.”

    • #5
  6. Midwest Southerner Coolidge
    Midwest Southerner
    @MidwestSoutherner

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    From amid a cloud of fragrant smoke and without missing a beat Haig replied… “I don’t think of it as smoking Castro’s cigars. I prefer to think of it as burning his crops to the ground.”

    Brilliant answer!

    • #6
  7. Online Park Member
    Online Park
    @OnlinePark

    Cute. Just had a look at NYC commuter and KC City zoo. It was feeding time. I’m going to show it to my grandkids tonight. I think they will love it.

    I watch a lot of families – sailors – La Vagabonde, SV Delos, Uma, Zatara. Some have been sailing and posting videos for years from all over the world. Zatara just finished forced hotel quarantine in Australia with 3 teenagers. Cooks (mainly vegan like me) -Happy Pear, Avantguardvegan, Krooks in the Kitchen etc. and random families with cute kids – Buzby quints, Life with Beans.

    Kind of strange for a bit of a dual Canadian/US political junkie.

    • #7
  8. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    On cold winter evenings, you will usually find Mr. Charlotte and me in front of the fire, watching a movie or Netflix series, and sipping hot chocolate or (if we are out of marshmallows) hot tea.

    We admit to being super-boring but it’s okay because we’re boring together. 

    • #8
  9. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    There are three daily routines.
    Early morning walks with my lovely bride.   A couple three or four miles depending on the weather.   We try to follow the Nordic advice – there’s no bad weather just bad clothes … but sometimes I just can’t bring myself to get out on a rainy morning.

    Evening Jeopardy.   RIP Alex Trebek.   

    It used to be sports.   Yanks/Knicks/Giants.   But the NFL and NBA spoiled that with the barrage of BLM messaging.    I’m hoping baseball will be back this year and be relatively apolitical.  In lieu of that we finally hooked up the Roku stick we have had for a while and watched some series that we’d heard of but never explored before.   I’m sure we are years behind the curve, but that’s OK.   

    • #9
  10. Midwest Southerner Coolidge
    Midwest Southerner
    @MidwestSoutherner

    Charlotte (View Comment):
    We admit to being super-boring but it’s okay because we’re boring together.

    It’s always better when you’re together. :) 

    • #10
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