I was always skeptical about the stay. The coin is too nice for what seems like a consolation prize: While other people explore the Blue Lagoon in an RV, you to reach stay in your own home and go to your usual supermarket for Cheerios!

So I was interested to discover, thanks to my colleague Catherine Pearson, that I had been completely wrong. Obviously, my tendency to fall into leisure without a plan is unlikely to produce a restorative effect. Instead, one should imbue the free time with the urgency of a week-long trip. Jaime Kurtz, a psychology professor at James Madison University and author of “The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations,” advises asking yourself, “If I were going away soon, what would I most want to do, and who would want to do it; I most want to spend time with?”

I like this spin on “live every day as if it were your last.” Any reminder that time is fleeting, no matter how cliche, is good if it makes you live better or more intentionally. And now, in the middle of July (already!), it’s really the time to try this. This weekend, you could, for example, look for some vegan ice cream that doesn’t taste terrible. (The new varieties are made with creamier plant-based milks that are more like the real thing.) You could try running in a pool, which is easier on the joints but just as effective as running on land. You could go for a walk or drive while listening to “Slow Radio”, a very soothing BBC podcast with sounds of the natural world. (This transmission shows a nightingale song and the first bleat of a newborn lamb.)

Whether or not you have a proper vacation planned for the next few weeks, you could imagine any upcoming weekend as its own two-day mini-break, scheduling it like you would a trip to somewhere new, with an itinerary that’s more exciting than just “sleep.” as much as possible” and “mow the lawn.” What do you most want to do this weekend, and who do you want to spend time with? Sometimes, when we get caught up in doing things and going through the next crisis, just ask ourselves what we would like to do and then doing it can be, if not revealing, at least somewhat reassuring.

🎬 “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” (Friday): Barbenheimer. Boppenheimer. Call it what you will, but between this week’s release of the new “Mission: Impossible” movie and next week’s double feature of Greta Gerwig’s poppy looks at one of the most famous dolls of all time and the sober look of Christopher Nolan to one of the most famous theoretical physicists of all time, movie watching is back! (For this month, at least.)

📚 “Crook Manifesto: (Tuesday): What do you do after you win your second Pulitzer Prize? If you’re the novelist Colson Whitehead, you’re writing a crime story set in Harlem in the 1960s. And what do you do if that book is well received? You write another! Whitehead’s equally entertaining follow-up returns to Harlem a decade later and, in his review, ace crime novelist Walter Mosley called it “a glorious and intricate anatomy of the heist, the deception and the slow game.”

Great thing about Naz Deravian’s recipe for a crisp edge shish kebabs is that you can cook them either outside on your grill, or inside under the broiler, making them very versatile depending on the weather and your mood. If you have time to let these marinate in the fridge overnight, they’ll be extra intense and infused with a heady mix of cumin, paprika, dried oregano and garlic. But even a few hours make a big difference. Serve with a flatbread on the side and a bunch of herbs on top for a fresh and leafy contrast to all those delightfully charred pieces of meat.

Hamptons home: It looks like a James Bond villain’s lair.

Little cabin: Style in just 600 square feet.

What you get for $1.1 million: Queen Anne Revival of 1888 in Versailles, Ky.; Craftsman bungalow in Denton, Texas; or split level home in New Hope, Pa.

The hunt: A single mother in Oakland, California, was looking for a home that would fit a family of three. Who did she choose? Play our game.

An inflatable water slide is a delightfully cheesy antidote to sweltering and sticky summer days. My brother gave my family a flashy explosive device that includes a climbing wall that leads to a slide that leads to a shallow pool of water decorated with inflated water guns and a basketball cannon. The whole thing screams excess. That means my kids love it, of course. And that is what matters. So, if I may: Consider an inflatable water slide for your backyard. Yes, it’s a kitschy monstrosity. But your kids will scream with joy. – Ben Frumin

Novak Djokovic vs Carlos Alcaraz, Wimbledon men’s final: The future of tennis has arrived with Alcaraz, the Spanish 20-year-old who wears down opponents with his speed and relentless hitting. Unfortunately for Alcaraz, the old guard isn’t gone yet. Djokovic, 36, has won the past four Wimbledon titles, as well as this year’s Australian and French Opens. While his peers are retiring, Djokovic seems to be playing his best tennis. “It really is very good to be Novak Djokovic right now,” Matthew Futterman of The Times writes. 9 am Eastern tomorrow on ESPN.

  • Alcaraz was a great youth player, but he was also lucky: a candy magnate saw him play and sponsored him to compete with the sport’s best.

  • In the women’s final this morning, Ons Jabeur and Marketa Vondrousova are each vying for a first Grand Slam title.

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