It’s Sunday: that day in the week when you want things to be simple. A bit of a lie in (maybe you’ve had someone bring you a cup of tea to bed), flick on the radio to see about the state of the world (it’s still turning, snuggle back under), a quick peep outside for a visual weather report (a lagging of snow, again), and there’s no hurry to begin (today you are the boss of time). That is my hope for your day ahead: that it is free of stresses, strains and snags – let those little hand grenade hitches be thrown into any of the other six days of the week, but leave Sunday worry free, please.
Maybe you go to church, do the parkrun, drop by to see relatives, take hours preparing a roast with all the trimmings; many have their traditional Sunday rituals. Or maybe it is a quiet time by yourself, as Sunday often is, a day without a list but with a vague idea of some things you may or may not get to. Some ironing whilst listening to The Archers omnibus, see about getting that wax stain out of the tablecloth, reply to a couple of emails, get ahead with Alice Munro for the next book group, run a white wash. The sort of stuff that amounts to ‘nothing much’, but that maintains ones sanity, recalibrates, allows us to catch our breath.
Doing nothing much, as is my intention today, is an achievement and should be noted as such. ‘What did you get up to at the weekend?’ is an oft-asked question of a Monday morning, and, dare I say, that a calm and relaxed response of, “nothing much” often beats the bleary eyed, breathlessly stuttered, “we went to the Albert Hall to see Cirque de Soleil, I’m exhausted, but it was brilliant.” Now, I would dearly love to see Cirque De Soleil, but when such outings are piled into the already over filled sandwich of life (pastrami, cheese, slaw, mustard, tomato, lettuce and let’s just slip in a little chutney), you can feel overwhelmed with far too much going on. How are you going to get your chops around that big boy when you have only got so much space in your stomach? Do we serve ourselves up more than we can chew for fear of life passing us by? For there is no better way for life to pass us by that to overfill it to bursting so you end up tasting nothing. I often have a Sunday night chat with T. “Any news?” she’ll ask me. “Nope,” I’ll answer and, without much reflection, we’ll speak in chorus “No news is good news.”
Drink tea today, potter about, start something and don’t finish it, watch Miss Marple (again) on ITV3, sit down often, and put the complications and complexities of life into a locked drawer until tomorrow. If you are lucky enough to be able to leave the problems, hiccups or dramas to Monday morning, then do. Be thankful for quiet days of doing nothing much, for, as sure as it is that the sun will rise and set, the drama will return.
‘Twelve Things I Don’t Want To Hear’, by Connie Bensley
“Assemble this in eight straighforward steps.
Start with a fish stock, made the day before.
The driver has arrived but, sadly, drunk.
We’ll need some disinfectant for the floor.
Ensure all surfaces are clean and dry.
There’s been a problem, Madam, I’m afraid!
We’d better have the manhole cover up.
Apologies, the doctor’s been delayed.
I’d love to bring a friend, he’s so depressed.
They’ve put you on the camp bed in the hall.
There’s just one table left, perhaps you’d share?
I know it’s midnight, but I had to call…”