Sunny Sunday

It took most of my life, but I finally love Sundays. This one is already feeling extra special since it’s the final Sunday of this enjoyable yet painful month-long writing challenge, and, against all odds, the sun is out. My routine will be about the same, but this helps everything feel even lighter.

Kids generally hate Sundays since school is just around the corner. There’s no chance of sleeping in, and Monday marks the start of a long week. Adults generally hate Sundays for similar reasons, but it’s work to blame for the dread. I could only shake the Sunday Scaries once I made a few changes and became open to accepting more than a few realities.

A job that I don’t hate was the first obvious step here. Or, more specifically, not having to report to insufferable managers. There’s nothing new about a boss that makes your life miserable; it’s a tale as old as time. But from my experience, managers in tech can be uniquely unequipped to manage humans. There are a couple of jobs that stand out as being especially toxic. I’d obsess about them all day on Sundays, wondering exactly how bad this week would be, dreading the moments when I would cease to breathe s as I waited for these particular unqualified managers to pop up on Zoom.

These thoughts would impact and ruin my entire day, sometimes in ways I wasn’t fully aware of–even when I didn’t realize I was thinking about it, I was. Getting out of these jobs, but really that space and industry as a whole, was the most crucial step in not wishing days and weeks away. Any unpleasant Monday interactions now mostly fall on my ability to plan and prepare, and that’s much more controllable.

Part of this planning has been understanding that I can’t account for everything that Monday could throw at me. I’ve been able to adjust my schedule in a way that leans into this and also sets the bar a bit lower than other days. There are never any hard Monday deadlines or even phone calls. It’s a day of setting up for the week’s work. It’s more emails and project management over design work and tangible deliverables.

I try to remove any blockers that stand in the way of starting Monday as peacefully as possible. Since bills so often like to appear in the mail on Saturdays, I pay these online on Sundays, so it’s not on my plate on Monday. This doesn’t take a lot of time, but for some reason, it carries a heavy cognitive load in the context of starting a fresh week. I live through my calendar, so I spend time fine-tuning this for the week and reviewing it with everyone in the house so there are no surprises.

For at-home prep, I use Sundays as big cooking and baking days. I’ll tackle a few tried-and-true recipes and experiment with a single new one. Gluten-free, vegan baking has more failures than successes, but the main part of getting wins is mastering various flour blends. Store-bought blends, for me, have the greatest fail rate. So, making these blends myself is the way to go, but it’s very time-consuming and something I save for Sundays. I maintain three separate blends since a cake needs a much different flour-to-starch ratio than bread. I keep waiting to document these blends until they are just right, so maybe after another decade or so, I’ll be ready.

An easy” bread is generally a soda or yeast-based recipe, while sourdough continues to be unpredictable and insanely time-consuming. Today, I’ll be making two small rustic loaves, banana bread, sandwich cookies, pumpkin muffins, seasoned sourdough crackers, and legume-free vegan butter. The goal here is to overproduce and freeze to prepare for the entire week–here are some of my faves from over the years. Additionally, making something like a casserole will ensure we have lunches for a couple days. It’s an entire day in the kitchen.

There’s also a school uniform to iron, a lunch to pack, and swim gear to prep. If I save these for weekday mornings, we all have a very bad time and usually run late. I also make sure to spend time socializing without the nagging sensation that time is limited, like during the week. We typically watch a movie, I find time to read, and we spoil the pets and water plants. We go somewhere if we want to, but we don’t have to.

Sundays are now a day completely grounded in caring for living things. It’s beautiful and makes my soul happy, and I’m so grateful to no longer dread them.

See you tomorrow over breakfast, the final Monday.

February 25, 2024

A tiny project byJoni Trythall inspired by friends at Wiggle Work.