I push open the exterior door to the school, step out into the fresh air and remove my mask. Loaded with my lunch bag, school bag, and usually at lease one additional bag (of books), I walk the 100 feet from my school building to my house. Crossing 27th Street, I attempt to shed my school worries and distractions, and put them on hold for the next 15 hours.
beep, beep, beep, beep, beeeep…I enter the door code and step into the respite of home. I find Josie asleep in the laundry room. She begins to stretch and roll on her back as a hello and request for a belly rub. My bags make their way to their assigned spots, often never opened and just picked up again the next morning.
I brew my afternoon cup of coffee, change into sweat pants, and give myself an hour to reset. Settling in to my spot on the couch, I catch up on the days events on social media, read the next few chapters in my current book, or write. Josie comes out of her lair and hops up next to me. She know our routine. This sacred hour rivals my morning time. I need it. I need this buffer between my school life and home life.
When the hour is up, I’m ready to tackle the next parts of the day. Usually a walk or some form of movement, working on dinner, and other household responsibilities.
What is your after school routine? How do you reset after a day of work?
Coffee dates are one of my favorite things. My husband and I usually go once a week to our favorite coffee shop with our reading material. Typically, we go between 3-4 pm on a Friday or Saturday. I always order a small latte “for here” (I want my drink in the real ceramic mug, no paper or plastic please). My husband always gets the brew of the day and splurges with a splash of cream. We pick a spot to settle in and read. Have I said that this is one of my favorite things? I’m not sure if it is the sound of the espresso machine, the hum of foot traffic coming in off the street, the look of perfection in my latte art, or the uninterrupted reading time. It is something I look forward to every week!
Just like everything, coffee dates have changed in light of the pandemic. Yesterday my husband asked, “Do you want to bike down to the coffee shop?” I knew they were closed to indoor seating, but were still taking orders for curbside. “Yes,” I replied enthusiastically. We haven’t been to the coffee shop in a few weeks, and I have really missed it.
So, I packed up my bag with my current book, my husband’s magazine, and our readers (of course!). I dropped it in my basket, and we pedaled off to the coffee shop. We passed many people out and about, walking, biking, sitting on porches (it was unseasonable warm). Upon arrival, we parked our bikes by a nearby tree, and I went up to the door to read about online ordering. I could see the workers congregated by the espresso bar, just hanging out waiting for orders. Once I placed our order, the barista popped her head out the door and said she would bring it out when it was ready.
We walked over to a bench across the street and started reading. The streets were eerily empty. Very little traffic, except for customers pulling up for their online orders. A few minutes later, the friendly barista walked out with gloved hands and passed the coffees to my husband. We sat on the bench for close to an hour reading and sipping our cups of comfort. It was a nice distraction for a few hours. A way to find a little normal in this uncertain time.