Mary Ann Ball


Mary Ball

Lawyer, New York


Ahhhh, the Halfternoons . . . my favorites.

They begin generally by sitting down, getting present with myself, and feeling what I really want, what do I really want at that given moment. Sometimes it's my nice satin pajamas and a lovely cup of tea on my best china, or it could be listening to my favorite soundtrack while ruffling through a book of poetry, other times it's a lovely Cleopatra's bath (small jug of milk, small jar of honey, rose petals of one rose) by candlelight with my slippers and yes, my satin pajamas ready for me when I get out. And at yet other times it's been popping in a romance (usually a period piece) as I snuggle in my softest blankets with my two adorable dogs, and still at other times it's been a walk through Central Park through the blooming Shakespeare garden with careful and present attention, inundating my senses with the smells, sounds and sights of nature alive and dynamic, and sometimes it's a simple as a nap by firelight, with drapes drawn and only the crackle of the flames lulling me into deep relaxation and sleep.

All of these beautiful experiences, come to life in the Halfternoon, which is in essence a moment for me to be there for me--pausing, sitting, and taking the time at that given moment to ask myself what do I really want to be doing, right then and there, and letting that desire arise and then allowing myself to be present with it, to respect it, and to give myself the experience right then and there.

That moment of self care, infuses me (and my family) with joy for days. . .


My Halfternoons change based on my feelings at the time.

And so, if I were to ask myself right now what my dream Halfternoon would be at this very moment . . . it would be . . . hmmmm (deep breath) (vision). . . a delicious plate of simple yet elegant pasta--extra virgin olive oil, parsley, and a little pat of Irish butter, maybe just a touch of lemon, simple and light with a glass of pure, iced mineral water, served on china and crystal--because I like that . . . and then I want to visit the MET and absorb absorb absorb all the creations around me (not sure yet what I want to see, I just want to be there and my fancy I will follow).

Afterwards, I think a nice walk home through Central Park--present with myself and the nature around me, and then I am thinking either a Cleopatra's bath or a full body massage (ah yes, 90 minutes, yes a massage) and ideally at a specific spa I have in mind with amazing "Oleg" (a true healer) . . . and since this is my dream Halfternoon, I would love to be dreaming during that massage of the tasting menu I would soon be experiencing with my husband and daughter, because I do love those, and in my dream Halfternoon, my family will have planned for me something NOMA-esque, Dirt Candy, or maybe Per Se . . . vegetarian . . . yes, that sounds nice, that sounds real nice, in fact, it sounds perfect . . .

Cheers to your Halfternoon my dears, and now, my elegant pasta awaits 



Mary Ball works as a lawyer in New York City and lives there with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

Halfternoon | What you do given half-an-afternoon to yourself to revive + restore + reset and re-inspire.

Swim in Lake Me | a swim in your own self-awareness.