Our evenings are our together time. There are lots of things we could be doing independently of each other but for now, we spend most of the early evenings together.
We aim to have dinner between 6 and 7. I need that routine and we usually do pretty well at it. We plan our weekday meals on a Sunday before doing our grocery shopping and that makes preparing meals much easier. We might pick up some fresh ingredients on the way home, but the basics are already at home. We alternate who makes dinner (it is in our calendars) and the idea is that whoever cooks, the other washes up. That doesn’t always work (la la la, nothing to see here …) and we’ve moved into a routine of Simon washing up and me drying up after we finish eating. Oh how we long for a dishwasher!
Usually we eat while sitting on the lounge but occasionally we sit at our table. Our place is so teeny tiny that our table is often the dumping ground for bags, mail, laundry, fruit bowl, flowers in a vase and even a cat or two. Our lounge is also rather cosy (it is a tiny two seat because that was all the space we had available to us) and we have a side table each for drinks, phones, ipads, etc. While we eat dinner, we catch up on our favourite TV that has recorded or we watch The Project on Channel 10. Simon will often have seconds or dessert before we do the washing up.
At least once a week we have a load of laundry going to either go into the dryer or be hung up on our little clothes hoist. I try to do most of it on the weekend or Thursday when I’m generally home but sometimes it gets away from me and I need to do that extra load (or Simon has just gotten home from a trip away and has a week’s worth of washing to do!). I honestly don’t know how people with kids keep on top of washing! There are just two of us and it seems to multiply!
I have been trying to stick to a before bed routine to give myself a period to wind down at night and help me to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. At 8pm I have my tablets. When Simon isn’t home, I’ve been starting my evening wind down after this but if Simon is home, we might watch some more TV for a little while longer. When I was a kid, my bedtime was 8.30pm and ironically I start to get ready for bed around that time now! I was always a night owl who would stay up late studying, reading or chatting online. If I am still awake after 11.30pm these days I’m so tired the next day! How things change.
My bedtime routine starts with taking out my contacts. After that I take off all of my makeup. I’ve started wearing more makeup to work, particularly black eyeliner and mascara, which are heavy, and I couldn’t imagine how much of a raccoon I’d look like in the morning if I left it on (especially with my bed hair)! I then brush my teeth and apply moisturiser and eye cream. I get changed into my pyjamas and wander back into the kitchen to make a herbal tea. At the moment I’m drinking a Twinnings Chamomile and Spearmint tea which I find quite soothing. Sometimes I have a biscuit or a piece of chocolate – most of the time I forget to eat it. With it now being cold (yay!), I also warm up a heat pack to take to bed. I gather up all my bits and pieces and head to bed. I put some music onto my iPhone and steal Simon’s bedside dock to play the music through the speakers. It is usually something soothing such as Elixir, John Mayer, Massive Attack or trance. My rule is that I can play with my phone or iPad until 9.30pm and then I can read until 10.30. Most of the time I stick to this and I have stopped playing games on my iPad before bed. When Simon is away, I have the iPad out because we usually FaceTime before we both go to sleep. Some days I don’t even take my iPad out other than to FaceTime, but I do find it easy to check my mail, read blogs and social media when I’m sitting in the lounge room or in bed.
At the moment, I’m reading Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. They don’t take me too long to read and I usually have a few more in advance ready for when I finish one at 10pm and need something else to read! I am also half way through Stephanie Alexander’s biography and have quite a few other books on my bedside table to get through. I usually read until my eyes get heavy and I find myself reading the same sentence ten times. Other nights I find myself needing to keep on reading and push myself to finish a book if I only have a few chapters left.
Lately Simon has been playing Diabalo 2 for awhile before coming to bed, or he watches some TV on his iPad in bed. We sometimes have the cats jump on the bed for pats and stay for awhile, but most of the time they find their sleeping spots and settle in for the night. I am often the last one to turn off the light, although in the last few days I’ve been asleep before Simon has even come in! I must be getting old!