Once upon a time, Sundays were simple. Perhaps you rose early and went to church, spending a quiet hour in worship and reflection, or perhaps you slept late, waking to savor the newspaper and ponder crossword puzzle clues. In the afternoon, you might take a nap or prepare a special dinner, visit with family or take a drive in the country. There were very few stores open, so shopping was not an option. Nearly all places of business were closed, employees expected to spend the day resting and enjoying time with their families.
Does that sound too idyllic to be true? It really wasn’t – that was how I spent Sundays as a child.
Not anymore. Too often, my Sunday’s are a marathon of activity, leaving me to face another work week exhausted, irritable, and unsatisfied.
Today, for instance. It’s a concert day for Jim and his men’s chorus, a bigger than usual concert involving three other choirs. His call time was 1:00, so after church (from which we snuck out early since the service ran over the allotted 60 minutes we Presbyterians can tolerate) we dashed home and I whipped up an omelet and some strong coffee while he changed into his concert attire. While he ate, I packed dinner for him, since their dinner break between rehearsal and performance is expected to be minimal.
When he was safely out the door, I drove to my mother’s where Brian and Nantana were joining her for brunch. I downed another cup of coffee, and then the four of us (plus dogs) drove over to visit my aunt and uncle. Not an uplifting visit (as their health continues to decline and it’s difficult to watch) but certainly one that was required. After an hour with them (which feels much longer) I dropped the dogs at home and made a quick run to the grocery.
It’s now nearly 4:30. Since I promised Jim I would attend his concert tonight, I have about 90 minutes to prepare some dinner, change clothes, and drive 30 miles to Eastern Michigan University in time for a 7:00 program.
I’ve just been sitting on my back porch, stealing a moment to admire a brilliant blue sky, and trees absolutely ablaze with scarlet and gold, feeling a warm sun on my face and a brisk wind in my hair. Breathing deeply, slowing myself down just a bit, allowing my heart to return to that restful state Sunday’s should be about. In all honesty, I would love nothing more than to pour a glass of wine, prop my feet up on the table and take a nap in the sun.
I would especially love to do that without feeling guilty about it.
We need one day a week, I think, to throttle back, rein in, take foot firmly off the gas pedal. A day when we’re not only allowed to slow down life’s pace, but expected and encouraged to.
A day of rest.
What a novel idea.