I have implemented Pajama Day into my routine, and it’s limited to the weekend, a Saturday or Sunday, depending on whether it’s raining and how much homework I have on my plate. Pajama Day consists of spending the day in my pajamas, which for me, are not a traditional set of pj’s, they are a sweatpant and a t-shirt. Now that it’s getting a little colder, I may throw an Emerson sweatshirt on, it’s thick and gray and displays the name of the college my daughter attends in a purple font and it’s very comfortable. On Pajama Day, I stick to certain routines, the necessary ones: walking and feeding Rocky, making my breakfast, brushing my teeth. On Pajama Day, I strip myself of adherence to appearance, of taking a shower and putting in my contact lens and wearing civilian garb, which substitutes my pre-pandemic routine, of dressing to go to an office, of being around people, of living in a world where paranoia wasn’t a necessity.
I don’t mind walking Rocky in my pajamas, my mask and my sunglasses on, I walk in my own headspace, avoiding people, which thanks to the pandemic, is so easy to do. Pajama Day rids me of anxiety, of having to accomplish much more than self-care; with seven months of isolation behind me, and so many more months of it ahead of me, it’s important to me to pay attention to myself, a heightened awareness that slips through the stream on all the other days, when papers are due and meetings to attend and worries to consider.
On Pajama Day, I can sink into a book and finish it. Today, it was a book for pleasure, not for school, Mariah Carey’s memoir. On Pajama Day, I can watch a movie without checking my phone for emails about things I have to attend to. Today, it was Radha Blank’s Forty Year Old Version, which I highly recommend. On Pajama Day, I break the rules of no sugar and snack on pieces of dark chocolate stashed in my freezer. On Pajama Day, I can sit in any room of my apartment, knowing it’s my day off, and allow the lapsed slacker in me to high five my solace.
There is but one caveat to Pajama Day: if a friend invites me for a meal, or needs a walk and talk, I will jump into the shower and pull on my jeans, because being with my friends is manna for my soul.
I know that I would not be able to implement a Pajama Day if I had a young child to tend to, or an elderly parent in the midst to fret over. However, I am alone, and I am alone in a pandemic. These are the small things I can do for myself. Maybe one day I’ll get myself an actual pair of pajamas, but until then, I salute my grey sweatpants.