I took a full week off for the first time in three years.
What I've been up to
My late-October week off from work felt luxurious. I had a long list of things I wanted to do and I barely got to any of them. Expected, yet humbling all the same. I decided to frame my time as \“rehearsing retirement\” as a mental exercise, just to daydream a little and imagine how it might feel when I don’t need to clock in to survive.
I wanted to make little things in a very low-pressure way, so I made a Tumblr account for the first time since college and posted a handful of movie & TV gifs I’ve made for myself throughout the past couple of years. It’s felt satisfying, and has been a nice escape from Twitter melting down.
What I've been into
Before my week off, I picked up some art supplies, bought a couple of video games and upgraded my RAM, and wrote a list of some projects I wanted to make progress on…and I did none of those things. Instead, I watched 8 ½ (1963) on Sunday evening, which set me off on a movie kick that lasted the whole week. One particular rainy weekday I decided it was time to watch all three-and-a-half hours of Seven Samurai (1954), a film I’ve been putting off for literal years because of its runtime. I don’t usually have the time, energy, or attention for a film on weeknights, let alone a weekday afternoon, but wow, did that hit the spot.
I interspersed some of the fancy-pants films with episodes of Chainsaw Man. (It’s rad).
My friend Michele Mobley was recently featured on BOOOOOOOM, and I highly recommend checking out some of her work in that post. She does large-format fine-art portraiture and she’s really extraordinary at it. I also have a few portraits of her from when we crossed paths in Georgia in 2019 and Maine in 2021. Being friends with artsy people is the best thing in the world.
I’ve been listening to the new records from Slowly Slowly, Tigers Jaw, Nas, and Arm’s Length. Now that we’re in November, I’m also starting to look back on the year’s releases to reflect on my favorites. I’ll have a playlist and a post up sometime in December or January.
I’m halfway through two more paintings of my own, with a few more ideas I’m eager to get on canvas. Making art is neat.
I’ve talked to a few friends recently who are a little tea-curious, and I’m wondering what I might be able to do to help nudge them into one of my favorite hobbies—maybe I’ll write some resources, or at least point to some other guides, or maybe I’ll collect some inexpensive teaware to give away with samples of my favorite teas from my collection.
Getting back onto standard time feels miserable. Really hoping the Sunshine Protection Act makes it through the House and becomes law so this is the last time we ever need to go through this.
I’m really missing photography lately. It’s tough to do at this point in the year, and I feel like I’ve squandered the opportunities I’ve had over the past year to get back into it. I know if I re-read my own newsletter I’ll remind myself that I made plenty of portraits over the summer, and even printed some of my work, so maybe I’m just missing documentary and street photography. Or maybe I just need to give myself a break (or at least plan a project for the Spring).
What about you?
Up to anything interesting? Have any thoughts or feelings after reading this? If you want to reach out for any reason, just reply to this email and I’ll write you back ✉️✨
tyler constance // understated
A cozy personal newsletter of creative projects and life updates.