Back since year dot in the Christian philosophy, Sunday has always been a day for relaxing, resting and spending with family and friends.
I can remember, having gone to boarding school for a good chunk of my junior years, that on Sundays we were allowed an extra hour in bed before having to rise and shine, shower and get dressed in our Sunday best, enjoying a breakfast of freshly made oven baked white bread rolls with butter and home-made marmalade and then walking about 20 minutes to the local church for Sunday mass and Sunday school.
However, being a food lover from such an early stage of my life, Sunday was always my favourite day of the week because I knew we would be tucking into a good meal: roast and a delicious hot sponge pudding loaded with lavishishly creamy custard.
Looking back, I always loved the food we were served at this school in particular, in spite of always hearing horrors from friends, colleagues and acquaintances reminiscing back in horror at their school food ordeals!
I remember heading back to school after church (which I couldn’t wait to be over as it wasn’t the most exciting part of the day) and getting wafts of home cooking and baking and my mouth salivating with what we would soon be about to enjoy. Our food back then (this is going back about 35 or so years!) was always fresh and home-made and most of the fruits and veg came from the schools gardens so I guess you can call it ‘organic’. Sunday lunch always consisted of roast beef, boiled savoy cabbage, boiled carrots, boiled potatoes as well as delicious roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, topped with creamy gravy. It was tasty, fresh and wholesome (for what it was back then) and we always looked to our head teacher to shout out if there was seconds (which there nearly always was)!
Dessert was always a sponge of some sort topped with ladles of delicious creamy custard and yes it had lumps and skin but wasn’t that the favourite bits? I certainly loved it.
And then during the holiday, being back home in London with my family, Sundays was the most boring day of the week. Shops were not open, we didn’t have cafes and restaurants on every street corner like we do today, mini-supermarkets were open until about 2pm and off licences would open around 7pm, I can’t even remember if cinemas were open on Sunday, no routine, no organised activities, not much on TV (what with only having 2/3 channels back then), there really wasn’t much to do.
However what I do remember was occasionally heading out to Hyde Park for the day (we only lived around the corner back then) where it was always busy with people, families, children playing and people standing up on crates and boxes and talking about their chosen subjects, standing up for what they believe in and drawing in the crowds, conversations, debates and even at times, heated arguments that broke out into fights but there was always a police presence around this well know area of Hyde Park so situations wouldn’t often get too out of hand!
My family and I would often visit McDonalds (yes I know, not a great choice, however this was the time where we didn’t really have the knowledge of what we were eating and also I am guessing that food wasn’t so overly processed back then and not mixed with loads of rubbish) on these particular Sundays (I clearly remember this as my brother and I loved the free hats they used to give away to kids) and then ended up bringing our burgers to Hyde Park, weather permitting, we would sit and enjoy our time on a picnic mat or a bench and simply watch the world go by before us kids going out and playing tennis or ball or something of the sort, being active regardless!
This was all before the time computers (or should I say laptops/IPads etc.), mobile phones, gaming consoles, shopping malls, amusement arcades, cinemas, 24 hour shopping, 24 hour living existed leaving room purely for being creative, living outdoors, visiting family and friends, actually meeting and talking face to face and simply being more personable than life is today, where we tend to live our lives through ‘technology’!
Today, Sundays have become a totally different kind of day entirely, one for ‘catching up’ with everything we didn’t have the time to do, or make the time to do during the week (i.e. shopping, laundry, house-work, cleaning, carwash, visiting family and friends, driving, home-work, etc. etc.).
Very rarely do we take the time or opportunity to simply STOP, sit back, gather our thoughts, enjoy the outdoors, the garden, our homes to SIMPLY BE! It always seems to be about rushing around and being busy (or sometimes seeming to be busy without any real output).
Does any of this ring true with you?
I think we all, myself included, use this day simply to ‘do’ instead of simply to ‘be’ by tuning into our inner being and recharging for the coming week ahead. We could utilise the day better by valuing out time more effectively and dedicating this one day a week (if we are not working and if we are, dedicating another day of the week) to either quietening down, relaxing and resting, allowing some time for our hobbies, whether it be walking in a beautiful park, reading a book, painting a beautiful landscape, knitting etc, the list is endless.
Of course there is nothing wrong with all this activity as long as you allow time at some point during the day, during the week to take time out to gather your thoughts, recharge (however way you feel best benefits you and your lifestyle) and give time to prepare for the future (whether next hour, next day, next week, next year or even longer than that)!
It is so important to have the right work, life, spiritual, wellness ‘balance’ regardless of what stage in your life you are at right now and this of course should reflect in our children, the children of the future.
This picture sums up the 80s for me perfectly.
So remember, life is all about and finding the right medium to live a fulfilling happy & healthy life.
As always I would love to hear back from you and hear your thoughts, your experiences and sharings….
With love and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.