How often do we happen upon a pocket of un-scheduled, un-spoken-for free time?
How often do we stumble into an open hour that we can use as we please?
This happens to me, oh, about once a year and – shockingly – it seems to coincide with turning the clocks back. If I’m not careful, I’ll just absorb that hour into my day, squeezing in another load of laundry or another round of emails.
But what if we were intentional with that hour? What if we spent those sixty minutes doing something lovely and interesting and wonderfully unproductive?
Some ideas for how to use that extra, delicious hour
Write a proper letter to someone you love
Yes, put actually pen to paper and tell someone what you’ve been up to. Inform your grandma of your latest shenanigans or ask your niece how soccer is going. Send Autumnal greetings to your far-flung friends or just write something like “Dear Meghan, remember when we ate lemon meringue pie at that fancy hotel in Kerala? And watched fireworks in our stained, sweaty salwar kameez sets? Miss you and love you!”
Youtube a favorite childhood television show
He-man and Scooby-doo are personal favorites of mine. Decide if they’ve withstood the test of time. Revel in the jokes you understand now that you’re an adult and be shocked that Shaggy’s pot smoking jokes made it on the air in the late 80s.
Make a list of all the things you’ve accomplished this year
As the year winds down and we’re encouraged to think about the changes we can make to be better! faster! thinner! richer! it’s important to remember and honor all the awesome things we’ve already done.
Pull out your favorite notepad and really think about what you’ve done this year. It can be easy to forget the mundane-but-important things, things like “hired a financial planner” or “finally started drinking enough water every day” or “scheduled that really important doctor’s appointment after avoiding it for a year and a half.” You’ll remember more by looking through your calendar and Facebook page!
Give yourself a good ol‘ fashioned at-home spa treatment
Read the Wikipedia entry on any topic you’ve always wished you knew more about
May I suggest Rasputin, the Rain Queen of South Africa, a list of all the guest stars on Sesame Street, or phantom time hypothesis. It’s also hard to go wrong watching episodes of Drunk History, MTV’s True Life or any VICE documentary.
The world is full of amazing things! It is so fun to learn about them!
Head to the top of the tallest building in your city with your camera
Just google ‘tallest building [your city]’ and check to see if they have an observation deck or an inevitably overpriced coffee shop or bar up there. Put on something cute, make sure your camera/phone batteries are fully charged and head up there for some great views and lovely photos.
If you live in Minneapolis, your best bet is the Foshay tower’s observation deck. It opens at 11 am on Sundays!
Sleep the eff in
But, like, with intention.