Sunday Routine is the column I read every Sunday while James flips pancakes and the water boils for my tea. In it, I read about the lives of New Yorkers, some famous (Edie Falco, Al Sharpton, Betsey Johnson, Pete Hamill), some not so, as they are interviewed about how they spend their
Sundays. Reading the Sunday routine column, eating pancakes—this is my Sunday routine. After eating breakfast, James and I go our separate ways, doing what must be done and we meet up again for dinner. Recently I read about a CEO of a fashion retail chain. He begins his day with an hour long mediation, follows it with a cup of chai, reads magazines, plays backgammon with his wife, drives his Ferrari to pick up bagels, goes on a bike ride and has lunch with friends. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a day that combined so many pleasures within one 24-hour period. The really great columns I read aloud to James, hoping he will be inspired by the couple who stroll to the farmer’s market, spontaneously invite friends for dinner on their rooftop deck, take long walks their dogs, have cocktails in front of the Sunday game.“It’s a fantasy,” he tells me. “Do you really believe they live like that?”But I do. At least I want to. Or I need to. If my Sundays are laundry, work, cooking and cleaning, at least someone else should be eating scones and heading to matinees.The wave of guilt I feel when I do sit and read the newspaper is suffocating. Most weekends I vow to make Friday and Saturday my housework days, leaving Sunday completely open and guilt free, or, as I like to call it a “Sunday Routine” Sunday. But the overflow makes it impossible.
I visited a friend in NYC recently for a weekend. We relaxed and talked in his apartment, slept late and lounged some more. Sometime early Saturday afternoon we headed out for lunch. Except in NYC, no one serves lunch on a weekend, only brunch. I was irritated. I was in the mood for a burger, not eggs. But once we sat, and a cocktail was poured and eggs benedict was served, I was nearly overcome with emotion. I am eating Sunday brunch. In New York City. With a day to do as I please. It was indeed my very first Sunday Routine day.
I know my SR days are coming. When the work and family needs will subside, but until then, the lives of others and my weekend getaways will have to serve as my guidepost.
There is no shame in the covetous quality of my reading. Sometimes I am inspired. Sometimes I am envious. But for the most part, it does make me reflect on how I spend my time and my days. Sometimes craving a life outside your own is a great motivation to create the life you dream.