Evenings: My Golden Hours – The Shu Box

I personally am super excited for Laura’s upcoming book Golden Hours (which always make me think of the similarly named and Kacey Musgraves album, BTW). But that book is quite a ways off and in the meantime I need to work on my own golden hours.

Evenings My Golden Hours The Shu

I spend a lot of the day feeling a bit of a time crunch. Not a super stressful one, as I am pretty good about not assigning myself an unrealistic amount of things to do; I also don’t feel bad about getting to the end of the day with unchecked boxes that I will migrate to a future slot. But still – the ‘working hours’ are generally pretty busy. I’m either seeing patients and continuously grooming my EPIC inbox, or working on business/podcast-related stuff.

Either way, by around 5 pm I have no desire to do any work and — luckily — I actually don’t generally feel any pressure to work any more! I often come out of my closet office* to have dinner with the kids pretty early (if working at home) or I arrive home from my clinical office at around 5:45.

These days, I don’t have any young kids requiring me to chase someone around the house, and I am generally not starting any kind of bedtime process before 8 pm.

So . . there are 2+ hours in there!

And what do I (we) DO with them?

Currently: nothing that great. There is usually dinner + cleanup (Josh is on occasion home for this, but generally not) — this doesn’t take that long. There is screen time for the kids — lately they have been into group video games which I kind of like (MarioKart etc). There is some random discussion with various kids about their days, though if they are playing video games or watching TV they probably do not care to have those conversations.

Sometimes there is a later sports pickup in there (C has lacrosse 2x/week until 7, A is about to have gymnastics practices that end at 7:30 2-3 nights/week).

I have not found myself using this time particularly well. Well, that’s not entirely fair. I’ve decluttered some small areas (like – 1 drawer at a time).

Maybe I should just adjust my expectations here.

What would I WANT to do?

  • I would love it if we could all watch a movie or a show TOGETHER, but getting all 3 kids to watch the same thing is turning into an exercise of futility. You guys had some great TV recs so I should try this out again with those.
  • I would want to curl under a blanket while storms rage outside (THEY HAVE BEEN RAGING!) and read. Sometimes I do this.
  • I would want to hang out with my husband and chat while the kids do their own things. (We do not do this purposefully, but it sounds nice when I hear others talk about it and maybe we should.)
  • I would want to do a gentle yoga session WITHOUT hearing kids scream in the background (not all that likely)
  • Read longer form articles like from The Atlantic (which we do have)
  • Maybe like . . work on a craft like calligraphy or something? Or more elaborate journaling? Bonus if a kid will do it with me . . .

What do I NOT want to do?

  • Leave the house. I really really just prefer to be home on weekday evenings and this is particularly true during the current nasty weather season.
  • Strength train. It’s just too jarring for me after 6pm or so. It feels wrong and I hate it!
  • Scroll aimlessly for an hour because I can’t commit to actually doing anything (lately – happening not infrequently)
  • Puzzles. Haha, I just know someone will suggest this and I hate puzzles (like the jigsaw kind, I LOVE puzzles like Connections and Wordle!). I am bad at them and they make my brain hurt and I find them incredibly un-fun. Sorry, puzzle people!
  • Talk to a bunch of people. The rest of my life I do a lot of that, I might call my parents or sister every so often but I’m not feeling terribly chatty most weekday nights. (Book club or other social gatherings are notable exceptions but are not very frequent!)
  • ADDED AFTER KAE’S COMMENT: Anything outside. Sorry but it’s disgusting out right now. It’s either oppressively hot, storming or both (really often both). Also the mosquitos swarm in those golden hours. I promise, if I lived somewhere else where it was nicer out on summer evenings I would not be such a curmudgeon.

*I have to record in my closet and generally have to hide there to work when the kids are home. It gets hot and is not ideal but it is what it is. Our house has a good amount of space but zero enclosed offices.


The answer may be that I should just stop giving it so much thought . . . but it’s a significant chunk of the day!

In the Weeds

Sarah Hart-Unger

mother of 3 // MD // south floridian // ESFJ // upholder.
into: planners, great food, running, reading, writing, mornings, podcasting, and coffee.

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