That’s a daily question at our place. We judge our days by it. As in, what time of day is it when one of us first asks the question. Of course, we don’t necessarily start happy hour when the query arises, but it is an indicator of our state of mind. It can be asked with a tone of celebration or commiseration. It just depends on the day.
In our previous, non-fulltimer lives, happy hour typically began in the 3pm to 7pm window. Season is a factor in the timing. Happy hour tends to start earlier in winter and later in summer as we maximize daylight hours.
In any season though, it’s our decompression time; a chance to wind down and enjoy the soft glow of the evening before dinner. We talk about everything—news, work, family, friends, etc. We consider solutions to our challenges and frequently end up doing some of our best work as we discuss and process the day. Happy hour is often pleasantly productive as we find answers to obstacles and barriers we’re trying to overcome.
Even Toby gets in on the action. He loves happy hour and is always ready at 5:00. Whether we are or not. (He doesn’t adjust for the seasons very well. Or our inconsistent work schedule for that matter.) But he knows our pattern of happy hour preparation and he’s ready to bask in the joy of us hanging out together. It’s a routine he can count on.
But there’s a catch to happy hour these days. Because since going nomad, the question has been shrouded in exhaustion and frustration. And often preceded by an f-bomb. (Ok, multiple f-bombs if you know me at all.) Clearly our lives as full-timers so far have been like riding an out-of-control roller coaster, designed by a sadist.
So the happy hour question has creeped earlier and earlier in the day as we’ve navigated this path as nomads.
The record? That would be 6:39 am. Chipmunk Day.
If we get any earlier than that, we may need to reconsider our life choices. Of course, we don’t actually start happy hour before seven in the morning, but if we’ve asked the question before we’ve even had our coffee, that certainly doesn’t bode well for the day ahead.
And so, that’s how we measure our days, one happy hour at a time.
Is it happy hour yet?