It’s 7:30 Sunday morning. A cool, crisp fall day. I am relaxed and cozy in my favorite sweat pants. I may wear my sweats the entire day. I am relishing my first cup of coffee (in my coveted Mad Men mug) and enjoying the peacefulness that permeates my home. This is the time of day I most treasure. And the day I most look forward to. It is all mine. I do some of my best thinking and reflecting on Sunday. I dream big on Sunday— a day filled with maybes and possibilities. Many of them. But few firm commitments. Sundays were meant for sweat pants. For authenticity. For reflection, appreciation and gratitude. Now I understand this. But it wasn’t always this way….
As far back as I can remember, I never really liked Sundays. Admittedly, the Sunday mornings I recall from my childhood were nothing to complain about… we lazed around the house in our pajamas and ate stacks of Dad’s homemade pancakes. But, by mid-afternoon, anticipation of the forthcoming week was looming and started weighing on me.
As a high school and college student, and even years later in graduate school, Sunday was always the day to play catch up… the day when I finally had to face that homework, focus on the looming projects, and begin studying for exams that had once been weeks away, but were now just a day or two away.
As a young professional, I worked long hours all week, which I “balanced” with action-packed weekends filled with late nights out, sports, outdoor adventures and travel. Yet, as Sunday afternoon rolled around, that sinking feeling would inevitably re-surface, reminding me that tomorrow was another work day and that the fun, at least for now, would have to wait.
The sinking feeling followed me into parenthood— even though I was no longer working full time. As a parent with school-aged children, that familiar knot in my stomach would begin forming late Sunday afternoon— a sober reminder that the fun times would need to be put “on hold,” at least until the following weekend. I wasn’t even the one who had unfinished homework or tests to prepare for, but memories of my own Sunday nights were so ingrained that I felt my children’s pain. As the sun faded in the sky, my mood, too, faded from joy and tranquility to dread and stress.
Then, recently, much to my surprise, my relationship with Sunday profoundly shifted. I never thought I would fully embrace and enjoy an entire Sunday from beginning to end. But now, Sunday has become my favorite day of the week— my Sunday Funday! It’s not that I sleep late, because I am not physically capable of “sleeping in” (recall my previous post from January, 2015 entitled: “sleep deprivation is overrated.”) But, just being able to awaken when I choose and leisurely read the Sunday paper, section by section, as the morning light streams inside, is simply heavenly. These days, every Sunday is spontaneous. On Sunday I feel like an artist with a wide open canvas, as I delight in filling it in with colors and experiences of my choosing. When the weather is nice, my husband and I enjoy hiking with our golden retriever, Kira, in a nearby nature preserve. Sometimes I take an exercise class at the gym, ride my bicycle or play golf. And, as a relatively new self-proclaimed football fan, I now fully appreciate the daylong slate of Sunday NFL games, enabling one to basically watch football throughout the day and night.
I am often motivated to write my blog posts— including this one— on Sundays, probably because I am feeling refreshed, invigorated and purposefully creative.
And then, to cap the day off with the cherry on my Sundae (pun intended!), later on I indulge in my favorite TV programs: Madam Secretary, Homeland, The Affair, Masters of Sex and Mad Men (despite the series having ended, I still occasionally watch old episodes, and will always associate this show with Sunday nights.) My Sunday Funday now extends straight up until bedtime, which helps me ease into the week. After a relaxing and fulfilling Sunday, I feel energized and ready for all of Monday’s challenges.