LEISURE LETTER 39: NEW YEAR | NEW RESOLUTIONS
Wake up early and get grounded. Literally walk outside, rain or shine, step onto a patch of earth and take it all in with each breath, letting it all flow out on the exhale. Limber up, look around, stretch, engage with the world. That’s all.
Coffee or tea next. Only this time opt for a novel to flip through, a book of poems, rather than the virtual cell phone panorama, with its attendant aperture of visual noise. First thing in the morning, when the sun rises brilliantly in the East, is no time for such trivial comforts. Sip a warm drink. Read. More stretching and looking around. Once you’ve read enough, it could be time to start writing some lines of your own, just give it a shot. The day is already full of promise.
Dress well, always. There is no catastrophe great enough to harm a cheerful guy or gal threaded over with dignity and style. Regardless of where you’re going or what you have to do, get your look set straight, put together . . . unified. All the rest transpires naturally.
Go for a walk. Shoulders drawn back and head held high. It doesn’t matter where you are; the important thing is to be in motion, moving . . . forward! Pay attention to all the things going on out there in the open. Laugh with the one you walk beside. At this point you’ll be well dressed and well-caffeinated, so what could go wrong?
Play the record. No skips . . . no rewinds. The preferred method requires a record player, along with its spinning wax-vinyl accessory. Play the record. From start to finish, the way the artist wanted. No headphones, no fragmentary bit-and-byte music. Play the record, baby . . . and play it loud! Sink in, tune out and relax. Here is leisure as it was meant to be.
Go for an evening swim. This is primarily aimed at those of you who inhabit coastal regions, however any body of water should suffice, theoretically. The colder the water the better – it shocks the nervous system into submission, recalibrates the cells, sends electrical signals pulsing through the limbs – to say nothing of tropical seas with temperatures to please.
Prepare a savory meal at least once a week. Cook for yourself, cook for a partner, cook for a friend: the benefit is undeniable. A fine meal, warm lights, your favorite glass of whatever . . . There ain’t no better way to spend one’s time.
Make a habit of Leisure. Don’t just dip your toes in – Take the full dive!