It’s oddly fitting that the week both starts and ends with Sunday. It’s a day for recovering, for peace, for sitting in the sunshine, for snuggling on the couch, for walks along the waterfront. It’s also a day for preparation, for freshening and for getting ahead of the game.
Sundays are my cherished day. There’s that poignant sadness that comes with 3pm on Sunday afternoon, when you know your two days of quiet heaven are over, and the tumult of the work week is cresting towards you. But there’s a deep satisfaction in grabbing your Sundays and making them a day for you.
In many ways, weekends can be out of your control. There’s friends, and birthdays, and family, and life that happens, and reserving an entire day for soothing solitude and perfect preparation can be difficult. But when you find that sweet spot, those pockets of time that you can hang on to and save, especially for you, on this day, this contradictory day of rest and revving up, transform the week that has past, and the week that is coming.
I have introduced some small elements into my Sunday to transform them from a day that passes me by as full of obligatory chores, to a day that leaves me refreshed and excited for a new week. They’re ordinary. They’re small. They’re meaningless to an outsider. But to me, these small elements are everything. There is deep comfort and surety when I complete these little elements in the precious pockets of time in the day that I have invested in a joy that will carry me through the highs and lows of the coming week. And I can know that when the week draws to a close, and all that is to come is now a memory, and the weight of the new additions in life slow my feet, and wear down my mind, I know that to come is another Sunday, of the pockets of time for me, for ritual and reconnection, and for the promise of a new and infinitely invigorating week ahead.
I sit outside on the balcony, in my hanging chair, for at least 5 minutes. Just sit, with no phone, breathing in, and breathing out – acknowledging the sound of the birds, of the wind, of the cars that rumble past – of the leaves on the trees, of the new sprouts on my plants, of the breeze on my face.
I make a cup of chai tea in my most precious tea cup, and embrace the soothing smell of cinnamon as it fills our small room. I drink in slow, un-greedy sips, and acknowledge that flavour colours all parts of our lives.
I spend an hour in the kitchen, preparing fresh food for the week. I don’t individually prepare every meal, but I cut and dice, slice and store all the vegetables for the week. The tetris of the clip and seal containers in our mini fridge brings me an odd peace when it’s completed, and I know that for the next week, I can feed myself with minimal stress.
I write. I write in whatever form moves me that day – writing in planners, to coordinate the upcoming week; writing in journals, to reflect on what has happened in the past week, day, minute; writing online, to share and connect; writing letters, to connect individually. That writing provides clarity, and freedom, and creativity. It provides an outlet for whatever emotion is threatening to overwhelm me: anxiety, love, sadness, wistfulness, reflectiveness, anger, frustration, peace. And that outlet saves the snapshot in time that is me.
The sheets are washed. The end of the week signifies sheets full of memories – of tears, of sex, of grumpy alarm clocks, and midnight worrying and whispered conversations. The washed sheets wipe the slate for new memories, and for fresh, full nights of sleep and calm and love.
A mint hair mask, and an avocado face mask are applied, and I enjoy the feeling of nourishing the outside of my body, as well as the inside. The scents cause me to breathe deeply and acknowledge the emotions that they evoke. And acknowledge that there is so much calm in deep breaths, and closed eyes.
It is with those things, these small elements snatched at constantly moving variables of the day, caught between phone calls and friends, and walks and Netflix, and brunch and birthday parties and family gatherings and beach trips, of breaking down over broken items and panicked acknowledgement that it is Monday tomorrow, that I find solace that joy is big enough to be shared amongst a party of hundreds, and small enough to fill a fleeting second. That joy is parties, and balloons, and noise and conversation and dancing, but it is also quiet and chai tea, or the soft smell of mint. That with a new week is energy and passion, and repetition and boring meetings, and new ideas and dreams and goals, and commutes, and forgotten lunches and lost work, and the highs and lows of those experiences are celebrated and anticipated in Sunday.