18 of My Afternoon/Evening Rituals to Savor

Oct 28, 2020

Tuesday afternoon, upon returning from the classroom and arriving home, I step out onto my garden porch, and drink in the cloudless blue sky, the soft, barely preceptible breeze and the brilliant low sitting sun.

I have no clue what time it is, and thankfully so.

Norman, after enjoying a treat, lays on the porch absorbing the warmth from the south-facing vantage point, and his sleepy eyes express how my entire being feels. On a Tuesday. On a Tuesday that feels like a Thursday. Wasn’t yesterday Thursday? Hmmm.

The final Wednesday post of each month has been for nearly two years a post about what makes me smile, but today, just temporarily, I am taking today’s post to share with you something readers have requested, a post detailing my afternoon rituals. I will be sharing a few more of these posts – my weekend rituals, morning rituals, etc. – because . . . well . . . my rituals have been my lifeline in many ways. A way of letting me slip away from the stress, the uncertainty and helping me to stay even more present and appreciative of all that is lovely, delicious, and sensually pleasurable.

Below are afternoon/evening rituals I especially enjoy:

1.An Apéritif to separate the work day from the rest of the day

2. Sitting on my garden or front porch, putting my feet up or swinging away in the swing whilst talking to my neighbors should they pass by and want to engage in more than just a wave.

3. Pulling out a cookbook from the shelves and trying a new recipe, having picked up the ingredients on my way home.

4. Snuggling into my reading chair in my nook, lighting a favorite French candle, watching a favorite show or new-show-of-interest and relaxing in my dressing gown.

5. Tending to my evening skincare routine – the textures, the scents, the relaxation is splendid and restorative

6. Taking a stroll with the boys around the neighborhood as the sun sets and the neighbors are settling in. The lights on the houses all aglow is a cozy sight, and the fresh air helps sleep come quickly when I turn in.

7. Turning on sultry jazz, (Diana Krall’s latest album has been enjoyed lately), and going about cooking in the kitchen, sipping a glass of wine, tapping my toes and singing from time to time.

8. Stepping out into the garden, clipping a few blooms (when they are still in season) and bringing them inside for a simple bouquet

9. Pouring a hot cuppa, pairing it with a single chocolate truffle and bringing the day to a close.

10. A hot bath of bubbles

11. Writing any of the day’s thoughts, questions, worries, hopes and celebrations in my journal.

12. Connecting with a loved one, friend or kindred spirit for a chat to check in or just debrief the day, talk about the world, get to know each other

13. Snuggling with the boys

14. Leaving the kitchen clean and tidy before I sit down with my cuppa, so I can fully relax.

15. Reading a new magazine – The English Home, My French Country Home or anything that upon its arrival is a reason to celebrate and savor

16. Reading an article about food, France, Britain, or food. 🙂

17. Stepping out into the garden – to tidy up, taking time to tinker and weed a little bit, deadhead a little bit, assess how plants are doing and savor what is in season.

18. Simply watching the sun set

My afternoon yesterday continued to unfold with a long conversation over the fence with my neighbor bringing the sun down to the horizon we did with our sharing of our days, thoughts about the election, thoughts about life, past and present, society and before the day ran out of daylight, he set out for his evening cycle, and I headed back into my house realizing I needed to write this post, and savoring what I have the opportunity to do here on TSLL with readers such as yourself as well as what I had shared with my neighbor in our neighborhood.

That’s the gift given by our rituals: we let go of time. We just are. When we can cultivate more moments where the clock is dismissed, our attention is fully given and we relax into ourselves, our everydays elevate, and we begin to remember again what it is that makes life so amazingly special to be able to live.

Wishing you many wonderful afternoon and evening rituals to savor. Bonne journée.






23 thoughts on “18 of My Afternoon/Evening Rituals to Savor

  1. Lovely post, Shannon, good reminders and suggestions all. (And for me, add ‘gardening’ to #16, right now specifically attracting bees and other pollinators, I am a woman obsessed at the moment.😄)

    1. Oh yes! The books I have been reading lately have a common theme too – gardening! ☺️ So exciting to learn more about Mother Nature and how to welcome more natural beauty to the world, helping the natural world as we do so. Thank you for sharing Rona.

  2. Thank you, Shannon, for a peaceful few moments reading your post. You in Oregon are still going to campus? We are still teaching from home where I live. I much prefer seeing students and faculty face-to-face instead of zooming. It is hard to separate work life from home life, but I am going to try some of your suggestions.

    1. We are virtually teaching; however, I go to the building to teach my live video classes to create some normalcy for the students (and mused :)). Only a few staff are on the housing, but it is allowed so long as we follow protocols.

  3. Thank you for this post, Shannon! I thought #1 was a great idea, considering that so many people, myself included, are still working from home. It’s hard sometimes to separate work-life and home-life and having an Aperitif at the end of the work day or doing another small ritual may help the mind disconnect from work.

  4. What a lovely post. I’m curious, were your rituals a deliberate choice or did they evolve organically? I think developing some consistency that I look forward to would be a good thing right now.

  5. Thank you for this lovely post. Rituals are so important, especially in these challenging times. I am a elementary school librarian and I am currently assisting in Zoom classes but try to adhere to a schedule which allows me to go into my library to process books a few times a week – I love finding future reading material for my students. Thank you so much for your recommendations for books and movies/shows. I am enjoying The Queen’s Gambit this week. Thank you for all your wonderful, enriching columns. Give your boys a treat from me!

  6. This is a lovely post and a timely reminder! I do so many of these already, however I definietly need to dedicate more time and ritual to them.

  7. In these incertain times, I find it is the routines that help me to stay positive and realize that all is not lost, and things will right themselves again soon! Thank you for sharing yours and giving me a few ideas to tweak my own evening rituals!

    1. Maureen, your positive perspective is greatly appreciated and you are right. The only certainty we have is change and that means this will change as well. Finding moments to savor and celebrate make this journey through the current times all the more manageable as we calm our minds and bodies. Thank you again for stopping by and for your comment. 🙂 xoxo

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