Sundays with Phoebe Gormley
Sundays With is a monthly series that will highlight the routines, habits, and rituals of folks in the Ordinary Habit community. We’ll be exploring what helps them close out their week, and get ready for what’s ahead.
When we first discovered Phoebe Gormley, we were in awe. She revolutionized Saville Row in London as the first exclusively women's tailor, focusing on investment pieces for women in a world of fast-fashion. We caught up with her to see how she spends her Sundays.
What do you most look forward to on Sundays?
Being indulgent – with my own time and taking a leisurely pace. If I’m alone in London I’ll move at a GLACIAL pace, you’ll find me at Battersea Park or Victoria Park, wrapped up in layers and reading a book by myself. If I’m with D, I am indulgent with his/our time. It's long distance, so I prepare to share him on Saturdays with the rest of the global population, but on Sundays I want him all to myself. We’re indulgent with food, and dreading our metabolism giving up on us some day. When we lived in Hawaii we bought a 70’s waffle iron and shlepped it around with us. Sunday is the day it comes out of the cupboard, and we savour the memories. He makes German waffles, his grandma's recipe, with whipped egg whites, lemon zest and curd. Don’t knock it until you try it!
What do you call that feeling that creeps up on us on Sundays?
As I work in retail, I work most Saturdays – so Mondays are my Sundays! But running your own business, I don’t get that same totally switched off weekend then totally switched on during the week effect. I’m always on, even if it’s only at 5%, and hey, some days I gotta be honest, I don’t get far past 20% on, even when I am supposed to be! All of my clients are appointment only, so I can see what my upcoming week looks like – but I prefer to be busy, and I am pretty good at enjoying it when I’m not rather than panicking about it.
I try to optimise every day for a little bit of joy – whether that’s working from my friend's office instead of home because it’s a sunny day and I’d like the walk, or seeing a couple’s PDA on the tube and thinking – yeah, I know that feeling, enjoy it! It’s lucky to experience it, yay for you guys – or taking the time to get something delicious I love for lunch.
A concept I learnt about recently is sympathetic joy – the premise being: if you base your happiness on ‘I’m happy when good things happen to me/I make good things happen for me’, there will always be more you think you could have. If, however, you base your happiness off other people's joy - and being genuinely happy for them, you’ll never run out of reasons to smile, because good stuff happens EVERY DAMN DAY – not always to us, but yes, sometimes to us too.
What do you avoid on Sundays?
Anything that doesn’t bring me absolute joy.
I’ve had my phone set to allow me only 15 mins of social media a day – best thing I ever did. No one in our generation will sit on their deathbed and think “I am so grateful for the hours I spent scrolling other peoples lives on social media.” It’s easy to waste Sundays on Instagram – don’t do it! That’s my life advice.