EquitidePost - September 28, 2021 - terminology
Have you ever had a relatively calm moment a short time before you intend to head to bed and everything just seems… right? Like things are in balance and you could just sit there in contemplative thought before you turn in to bed and get some much-deserved shut-eye? Well, I have. This is a concept I’ve been trying to define to myself for months now, and I think I finally have a good description of what it feels like. Most importantly, I have a portmanteau term that my wife helped come up with to apply to the feeling. The term is equitide.
Equitide, to me, is defined by these general characteristics:
- At a time later in the evening, close to when one would typically go to sleep (let’s use the term eventide here)
- In a general state of equilibrium & calm - not too hungry/full, no overriding emotion dominating your thoughts, not too cold/hot, and so forth
- In a mood which would promote introspection or otherwise deep thought & mindfulness
- Things are generally quiet, slower, and there’s not much activity around you
I’ve had these conditions happen to me multiple times over the past few weeks (a welcome break from the many emotions the Trump administration and pandemic have given me the past 5 years). Oftentimes I feel this way after my wife and I watch a couple episodes of whatever show we’re watching, and we turn off the TV and sit on the couch and just feel… calm. I’ve not felt this way when I’m substantially tired - if I’m too sleepy, I just head to bed and that’s that. But if I’m in this state of just not quite tired enough, then I enter equitide. The house is quiet because our daughter is asleep and the pets are lazing about. Neighborhood activity is low. No TV or music playing. I’m not doomscrolling on my phone. I can just sit calmly.
What’s funny is that the past couple months of equitide I’ve had have all been dominated by trying to simply define what equitide is, and in trying to come up with a good term to describe the feeling. It’s not just any situation where one can be introspective and dig in to some deep thoughts - that can happen anytime and even during heightened activity around oneself. The key components separating equitide from other instances of introspection are really that it’s close to whatever your bedtime is and that the environment around you is pretty calm, cool, and collected.
So you may ask, why the term equitide? I did mention it’s a portmanteau (and I gave you a link earlier to define it), so that ought to give you a hint. I love portmanteaus, and my wife helped me come up with it. Equi from equilibrium, and tide from eventide. I even double-checked to see if someone else had already defined this particular word, and I couldn’t come up with anything compelling. Though there are some products and companies named equitide, apparently. I was originally calling this concept the “witching hour” because I didn’t fully understand the definition of that term, but the term’s existing definition doesn’t fit well with the concept of equitide.
There you have it! I finally have a word to describe my late evening environment the past few months. Now I can think of other things during equitide instead of trying to define equitide itself.