60 Questions – Answer #4
An evening at home alone or with somebody else.
How does it look different?
I loved this one big book from the bookshelf of my Granny. The photos inside fascinated me as a child and teen. All people looked so fabulously groomed and put together. As if they just knew how to be in charge of life. It seemed impossible that a petticoat would peek out or that a hat may be slightly out of its place. The ladies wore dresses or tailored ensembles, always with a hat and gloves when outside. The gentlemen looked fab in suits, tie, and hat, of course. It is possible to do everything right, the book told me. You only have to know all the rules and follow them. Everybody will follow the same set of rules, of course. Then there will be no problems. Back then, I found that entirely plausible.
The book also recommended setting the table nicely for dinner, even if you lived alone. This part addressed especially the bachelors. Young ladies either did not live independently or knew what to do in the first place. They were homely and dapper anyway.
The chapter also featured a photo: A young man with a crisp white shirt and tie, obviously, one of those bachelors, was sitting at a table. Ready to tuck a napkin behind his collar. He would then pick up his fork and knife to eat a deliciously decorated sandwich placed on a simple plate in front of him. A glass of beer is waiting for him, too. I am sure that he will have a glass of Brandy afterward in his living room. While he was sitting in a comfortable armchair with a good book under a beautiful lampshade. He would call it a day early. He would be pleased about himself, as he was not lazy and did all he could to make himself comfortable.
Still today, I like the calm and certainty that dominates the scene. There is a timeless quality of self-esteem and dignity. Maybe even grace. We still have that today. Only we call it Self-Care. Prepare a colorful, vegan Buddha bowl for yourself and decorate it nicely. Maybe even without posting it on Instagram. Do it just because it feels good to make an effort for yourself. It signals that you take yourself and your needs seriously. You take care that you have some energy left at the end of the day to arrange for actual recharging and relaxing.
If the bachelor was able to pull this off every evening, I don’t know. Maybe he had also evenings that just happened to him: With some cheese and bread from the fridge standing in the kitchen. Later, chips and ice cream on the sofa. Just like it happens to me on regular evenings alone at home or with my husband. I don’t think too much about it on such evenings. We have our routines. They run smoothly. The more tired I am, the higher the chances of merely collapsing in front of the TV and letting the program wash over me. No more decisions to make, and I only wait to be tired enough to go to bed.
Sometimes I am regretful for such evenings. They leave a kind of emptiness and staleness like bland food from your fast food temple. I am not hungry anymore but also not satisfied. Not tired but not wholly rested and energized.
Isn’t it strange how the autopilot in my head can betray me for the good things? Why can’t I work on a creative project I have started so long ago? Why do I not read one of those books from the “please-read-me-pile”? Why not listen to some music and doze off a bit already? How about a “Home-Date” with my husband? Finally, doing some of those things I want to do if I only had more time.
I think I like both types of evenings: Routine is essential for saving energy and feeling safe. Hanging out without overthinking is great. But the other things create joyful moments and memories to cherish. These structure time and I prevent that weeks and months pass by without leaving a trace. Why is it already October?
An answer I like to this question is: I don’t do anything different. I’ll make myself a lovely evening, no matter if I am alone or with somebody else.