Happy Sunday loves! I hope you’re able to find a chance to breathe now after a crazy week. I’m over here recovering from finishing this week strong and letting my body take a breather. I used to treat Sundays like any other day of the week. A goal-pumping machine. If I had a vision then I was willing to invest seven days every week into building toward it. That’s right, my fired up ambitious self refused to rest. To me, unplugging meant wasted minutes on the clock that could be spent tackling another project, checking off another goal, or running around tying up loose ends to the week before Monday morning hit fast and hard. Sleep? Who needed that?! The last thing I wanted to do was slow myself down. I worked the clock. Hard. I spent many sleepless nights working, creating, learning, constructing, and anything that brought me one step closer to my dream. It set my soul on fire.
Yes, me, the raving party girl turned down boat parties, house parties, rooftop pool parties, beach trips, vacations, concerts, festivals, movie nights, camp outs, road trips, nights out on the town, you name it I skipped it, along with the many other raging opportunities to throw down and have a damn good time. I wouldn’t. I was too hungry. I sacrificed these blow-outs for valuable time invested toward making my dream a reality. Did everyone understand this? Of course not. It didn’t stop me. I had a vision, and all you fierce go-getters who live and breathe ambition know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s our oxygen. Couldn’t agree more with my girl Barbara Sher: “As soon as you start to pursue a dream your life wakes up and everything has meaning.” Damn straight. I was on fire to unlock my full potential and see what I could do! Sundays were cranked off my list just like any other hustled day.
It wasn’t until I woke up one morning, which happened to be Sunday, (one of the weird occasions where I didn’t pull an all-nighter) and I just laid in bed for a moment. Another rare thing for me since I never wanted to lose any time that could be spent in productivity. I remember being bathed in sunlight falling from my window. For some reason I didn’t hurl myself out of bed scrambling to check my messages and emails like I routinely did. I was peacefully still. I didn’t know why, but the tranquility that filled my spirit drew me in to this oasis of serenity. It was silent. Not just in my bedroom, but in my mind. For once it wasn’t racing with my next big and crazy idea that always terrified yet thrilled me simultaneously, pulling me to taking another leap of action. My body wasn’t pumping with overdrive. It was quiet, like the calm after a storm. I don’t know how else to describe it, except that it was beautifully soothing, and somehow in its simplicity filled me with new life. I can’t tell you how long I laid there, but once my thoughts began to awaken they gradually infused me with a transforming perspective.
I began to contemplate everything . . . my hustle, my passion, my refusal to give up, my energy, my spirit, my grind day in and day out, what day of the week the heck it was, and somehow my mind paused there. It was Sunday. As odd as this might sound to some I began to ask myself what Sunday actually meant to me, or in better words, what Sunday could mean to me. It used to mean a lot to me. I thought back to how Sundays were always spent growing up. In our family it was always a special day. We treated it differently than any other day of the week. It was always a greatly anticipated day of celebration, relaxation, and feasting with one another (usually over pizza, Doritos, Pepsi, and our other family favorite treats that made the day a little bit special). I missed this. I missed how meaningful these lovely leisure afternoons were to me.
I'll admit, mornings weren't typically that calming. Sunday mornings were beautiful chaos in our large family where it was a weekly race to get all twelve of us out of bed, cleaned up, and all into the van and to Sunday Mass on time. Happy to say we got our chaotic routine down pretty well and proudly were always able to make it through the mad scramble of fast showers, lost hairbrushes, inhaled breakfasts, and one of the ten kids always running out the door with only one shoe on and the other in hand (okay, that was always me). Although we barely had time to catch a breath in the morning rush, Sundays were delightful!
Our parish was always bubbling over with large families of all our favorite friends who we couldn't wait to play with after Mass. Armies upon armies of kids piled out of vans as they hurried in their Sunday best to find a pew and hopefully all squeeze together with their brothers and sisters. The goal of every Catholic family was to make it to Mass early enough so they could find a pew (or two!) and wouldn't have to split up. Mass was always celebrated by our very loved old Italian priest who was every child's favorite and always had an inspiring story that kept all our attention. He instilled such faith within every child's heart and a longing to grow into a Saint. After filling ourselves with spiritual nourishment in Mass the rest of the day was spent in fellowship. As a kid, this of course meant backyard football with all 60 of our best friends behind the Church, or feasting over doughnuts, while the parents talked for hours until one family invited the others over to their home and the celebrating continued from there. These Sundays are golden memories of my childhood that had nourished me so well. It's sad how somehow through the messiness of adulting and moving away such beautiful treasures can fade. For me, they had faded into the dust of high-speed worked weeks. My Sundays became routine. I would race to Mass then race home and jump head first into my list of goals to tackle for the day. Wow is right! It was time to change. I desired to be deeply rooted once more in what had brought my life so much meaning.
Don’t get me wrong. My energy still rages, my passion and drive still have their flaring rocket boosters, and my eyes cannot be peeled off their target, but I’ve grown to understand the worth in changing gears, and where to invest myself so that I am able to blast off at my most powerful and most valuable level of highest operation. Just like our physical bodies need food, water, and sleep to sustain life, our minds, hearts, and souls need nourishment to thrive as well. For me, this took discipline. Breaking my habit of spending every waking moment busting my butt was tough. I am a creature of near-impossible-to-break habit so learning to adjust my high powered jets were not as easy as it may be for some. What did the trick for me was choosing to take a breather by intentionally handing this time to God and allowing Him to cultivate something beautifully powerful with it. It transformed me.
I no longer treat Sundays like just any other day of the week. For me, Sunday is preserved for a day of restoration. I make sure I finish up my week’s work beforehand, including my goal intentions for the following week, so that when Sunday morning rolls around I am able to invest myself in a peaceful recovery. It has been a refreshing turning point in my life. Not only does it fuel my faith, Sundays replenish my soul, my mind, my heart, and my body with nourishment. It brings clarity, balance, and harmony to life that resonates with me. I savor Sundays with a joy that brings peaceful closure to a hard worked week of labor. Its fruits rejuvenate me and make all my efforts invested in my next week of work even more valuable. Once I could see that through proper nourishment with finest timing the quality of my performance increased astronomically! Mind. Blown.
Not only are my Sundays saved for a day to refill myself with new life, but also with meaningful relationships. I spend these beautified moments in celebration with those I love and are closest to my heart. This quality time brings new growth to my relationships and allows me the opportunity to invest in those I care about with full attentiveness and genuine active interest in their lives. I can give them my undivided attention, time, and heart. It has been in these cherishing moments where I am able to reconnect with family and bond over shared stories, laughs, and good conversation. It refills me. It draws me out of myself, and I think this is the most humbly freeing and fulfilling part about it. To invest beyond my own endeavors and into another human being brings a whole new meaning to what I aspire to do in my life.
It is through willing this act of selfless love am I truly able to bloom! My abilities to genuinely connect and come to know my loved ones more deeply flourish. My life has more meaning. My world becomes brighter. The depth of me lights up! To cherish another’s soul and to have them cherish your own opens floodgates of joy. How beautiful it is when family shares more than blood. To share friendship, fellowship, and the sheer enjoyment of each other’s company on lovely leisure afternoons, fills my heart to a capacity I didn’t know my heart had. As passionate, determined, and committed as I am to be a big achiever, I wouldn’t rather spend my Sundays anywhere else doing anything else than sitting there peacefully detoxing my mind and filling my heart with God, my family, and little beautiful moments. It’s simple moments like listening to my younger sister share her story of how she tried to kick a balloon and missed, breaking her toe on a couch leg, or listening to my brothers’ adventures in Iceland, or how my parents’ romantic date night turned into what would make an hilarious movie, that make me appreciate my Sundays even more.
Not every Sunday looks the same. As much as I wish I could spend every Sunday with family, living on my own creates natural challenges to making this possible. It also creates a window of opportunity for me to begin cultivating my own home life, customs, and seeds of family culture. It is within my own little home these seeds are planted, and by watering, weeding, and allowing such new traditions to sprout, helps cultivate my heart in preparation for future savored Sundays in a full home filled with celebration, fellowship, laughter, and feasting. Although these feasts may not look like a banquet right now, and some days may look more like popping chicken wings in the oven, they still set the vibe and fill the atmosphere with festivity.
Someday, I hope my own family and friends who fill my home can enjoy a beautiful spread that attracts community and fellowship. The size of my home holds no importance to me, but only that it can be filled up completely with lots of happy people. I want it to hum with friendship, laughter, and good dinner conversations. I want people to come together in merriment and take delight in each other’s company. I want my doors always open and everyone, including the mailman, to feel welcomed enough to join in. I want to see so many children bouncing all over the place that their energizing happiness vibrates the walls! I want my home to be bursting with such joy-filled community that its warmth will never leave a soul who bids it goodbye. To create such a graced home that refills everyone with all good things is a dream I will nurture until it one day bursts into bloom.
As of yet, I am still brand new to this charming little town I reside in and savor my Sundays in simple and yet special ways that foresee my aspirations. I begin creating my dream home by first replenishing myself through nourishment so that I am refilled spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Perhaps some days this looks like coming home from Mass and lounging with a good book gushing with wisdom, taking a walk outside to fill my senses with refreshingly inspiring new life, or maybe reaching out to an old friend simply to see how she is while my Sunday meal cooks on the stove. Whatever it is, it is it is done in celebration, relaxation, and soulful feasting. To be at peace and well with my soul makes the end of a week fulfilling, restful, and beautiful. For me, these little changes have brought such big and rewarding results that I cannot help but want to share its fruits with others.
I’m not sure what your Sundays look like or if they treat you kindly, but I hope somehow you find extra moments of happiness in each of them, and if you ever happen to find yourself in the neighborhood, please always feel welcome to pop over into my cozy kitchen to add more life to its celebration and fill your Sunday with festivity, friendship, laughs, soul food, a bite to eat, and all things fulfilling!