Last Sunday was one of those rare days when we had no plans or anything in particular we wanted or needed to do. Saturday had been a very full day so we didn’t feel the need to do much.
So after Mass we just hung out at home for a while and then decided to ask another family over for a simple dinner. One of their children is a goddaughter of mine, and we hadn’t caught up properly for a while.
Happily, they were also free and accepted, so I thought it was well worthwhile letting my #2 daughter make a dessert of her choice from the chocolate cookbook she got for her birthday. It was a pretty simple slice (the recipe is here) but since I had the oven on and the afternoon free we made up a batch of toasted museli and prepped a potato gratin for dinner as well.
This is my favourite kind of day, with lots of open-ended free time that we used well. We struck a nice amount of balance between work and play, prayer and rest, family time, time with friends, and community-building.
When my runkeeper app reminded me I hadn’t been for a walk in a few days I took the kids and we wandered the neighbourhood for a while, feeling no pressure to hurry back to the next thing.
I would love for every Sunday to be kept apart for rest and restoration, but most of them end up very busy. Good, but busy. We usually end up feeling a bit harried, which is probably not the best way to be starting each week. At least though we’re pretty good at keeping Sunday as the day we spend time with family (immediate and extended).
Mass in the morning is the one constant. It’s what one of my favourite contemporary writers would call an ‘anchor event’ every weekend.
After that we usually do a lot of driving to visit extended family or attend a family event. Often it’s been a busy week so there’s left-over school week prep (washing and ironing uniforms, making sandwiches and meals for the week, some grocery shopping) too, though I try not to have too much of that stuff left by Sunday.
Short of opting out of the kids’ schools, sports and birthday parties, and getting all of our extended family and close friends to live within a 10k radius of us days like this are unlikely to happen often, but we can certainly savour when they do!
I figure that if we keep trying, then sometimes – like yesterday – it will happen, maybe more often than if we never tried to keep Sunday as a day for rest and hanging out together as a family.
Do you try to keep Sundays apart as a day for rest and family? How do you manage it?