How To Have A Better Day Off

A few Mondays ago, I decided to put together a little tutorial on how to have a great day off.

Mondays have typically been my Sabbath during the school year, although during seminary it was Fridays. Essentially, it amounts to taking time to refocus using a combination of the transcendentals: truthgoodness, and beauty. You can focus on different aspects of these three, but for me it focuses on getting outside, eating some good food, and reading.

Toward that end, step #2:

I prefer something that looks like this:

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Next, I like to break my black coffee routine and get the drink I used to get everyday (!) when I worked at Starbucks (and as long my 30% discounted lasted) by enacting step #3:

Behold the iced 6-shot venti nonfat carmel macchiato:

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With drink in hand, it’s time for step #4:

Step #4: Get a spot outside with adequate sunlight and casually peruse the stack of books you a) brought or b) were already in your car — Nate Claiborne (@nateclaiborne) February 4, 2013

Often, it looks like this for me:

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After doing this for several hours, usually until I get hungry, it’s time for step #5:

On the particular Monday I was cataloging, this is the result:

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I don’t always eat barbecue in Florida, but when I do its 4Rivers. And it’s totally a bonus that they carry Ale-8 down here (which you can usually only get in Kentucky).

Post lunch, I either resume with some more reading, or maybe take a walk. Most times though I will do step #6:

As an example, here’s a personal favorite by Scale The Summit for pensive reflection time:

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The point in all of this is that I am spending concentrated amounts of time renewing my mind (truth), immersing myself in nature and other aesthetically pleasing environments (beauty), and enjoying some out of the ordinary bodily pleasures (goodness). I also like to spend some time thinking about what I can be thankful for, which meditating on God’s goodness toward me.

For me this is all mainly a solitary activity, but that’s how I refill and refresh. For you it might include a different setup and other people. I’ve just found it helpful to keep the emphasis on renewal and primarily using extensive outdoor reading as my mainstay.

Author: Nate

I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

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