Lessons from a weekend at home...

lessons for clara

Dear Clara,

Aren’t weekends the very best part of the week? If you think that now, just wait until you start working!  Half of our weekends are usually on the go, discovering something new, but I always savor a weekend at home too.  Here’s what help make ours special:

  • Start the weekend with something active: A quick run, a brisk walk . . . on one of the days, usually Saturday, I have been trying to get some physical activity out of the way right from the start in the morning.  It usually gives me a bit of time to myself to think and relax from the week, and I feel like it gives me a pass to enjoy the rest of the weekend without guilt.
  • Try something new . . . : Sometimes when you live in a place, you take all of its gifts and treasures for granted.  When I find myself at home for the weekend, I try to always make a point of seeing or doing or trying something new, almost as if I would be visiting for the first time.  It might be a museum or a park or a restaurant or a farmer’s market.  Everyone always has a list of things they’ve been meaning to do or see in their own town, so pull from that list and rediscover where you live all over again.
  • . . . but balance with something old: At the same time, try to have little weekend routines that you can attach to.  There’s something comfortable and familiar about coming back to a place or schedule that makes home feel more like home, especially for us since our home changes so often.  We have a “Sunday Routine” that involves going to our favorite neighborhood, going to church, taking a walk and then having brunch in one of a few restaurants in that neighborhood.  Having that comfort of Sunday morning helps us to feel grounded and rooted---with so much else that’s changing, the familiar routine is like a big hug that at once is the end of a week and the start of a new one.
  • Enjoy a lazy morning: People say that when you have children you no longer have lazy mornings.  I disagree---for sure, mornings are different.  But we still pick one to lounge around a little longer to savor the sunshine through the window, to read a book, watch a cartoon, have a good laugh over tickles.  We have breakfast at the table, and linger over coffee . . . just little things that make mornings mornings, and that we don’t have the time to all do together during the business of the work week.
  • Make time to reflect and be grateful: I use our time at church for this, and while I hope you find that same space and comfort there, I realize that one day you might choose to do things differently.  Whatever that space might be for you, set aside some quiet space for yourself to truly appreciate the gifts of the prior week, even on the hard ones.  Think about what you have done for others and what you could have done for others, so that you reset for the new week with that mindfulness.  Make some room in your heart for gratitude---we are blessed with so much, even when we think we are lacking. Remember, no matter how much more we might think we need, there are always people who have much less, and I mean more than just material things---it might be love, it might be forgiveness, it might be family. See if there is anywhere where you can share a little more, and expect a little less.
  • Go to bed early on Sunday:  Pick a cut-off time for yourself and just make that last part of the weekend a little bit about relaxing.  Watch a show or read a favorite book but then lights off . . . the week ahead is so much better if you’re actually well rested.  Get at least 8 hours of sleep, and then call me to thank me on Monday morning.

All my love,

Mom