Saturday, July 24, 2021

New Week's Day: Resetting Your Life One Week at a Time

Scott D. Parker

Sunday mornings have become like New Year’s Day.

For most of 2021, Sunday mornings have developed their own rituals, and the end result has been weekly resolutions.

Monday through Friday have their own schedules. I wake usually between 5:00 and 5:15 and set to work on the latest story. Since last Monday, I’ve been re-reading and reviewing a collaboration with a fellow author. I should finish that up this week and I’ll send it back to him for a final polish and publication soon. When I’m working from home, come 6:25 am, I have to stop the personal work to get ready for the day job. Now, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m going back to the office so that getting-ready schedule is back by half an hour.

Saturdays are the fun mornings. I still wake earlier than everybody else in the house—7:15 or so—in order to have the quiet all to myself. I head on out to Shipley’s do-nuts and buy the same two do-nuts I’ve been eating for over forty years—cherry iced and cherry filled. It’s my big indulgence every week. Coupled with coffee and scrambled eggs, I eat breakfast and watch something no one in the house wants to watch. It was WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier during their runs and, for the past two weeks, it’s been the first two films of the Fast and the Furious franchise. Yeah, I’m just getting around to them. After the family wakes, I head on outside for lawn mowing and whatever else needs doing before jetting off to Trader Joe’s.

And then there are Sundays. I’m a church goer and always have been. During the pandemic, my Methodist church streamed the services live and I shifted from the 11:00 service back to the 9:30 service. That gave me time to participate in the service and then catch The Brady Bunch on MeTV. I’m returning to church in person now, so I’m back to the later service.

But before I get ready for church, I wake around 7:15 and have the quiet house to myself. It’s not like Saturdays. I’m not waking to watch something. I’m waking to read and work. I do a chapter of the Bible everyday—reading through the Apocrypha for the first time ever—and then I start working on my personal projects.

That’s not all I do on Sunday mornings, however. Sunday mornings have become a time to reset. Part of the morning is to review the emails that have accumulated over the week, the ones I didn’t instantly react to, the ones I set aside thinking at the time they were important but didn’t have the time to address them during the other six days of the week. With a clearer head, I will either read and respond or realize I could have deleted them earlier. It’s amazing was a culled email inbox will do for the mind.

Soon after the mind’s cleared, I think back on the past week. How did it go? How well did the personal projects do? How about those day job assignments? Also, the personal interactions. I live with my wife and nineteen-year-old son plus two dogs and a cat. Did any of the humans get into a disagreement over something? What great thing did we do this past week? How’s life going? How well did I eat? How much exercise did I get? Was there anything I wanted to do but didn’t? If so, why?

What these questions do for me is center my mind. I constantly analyze my life to find ways to improve on it. Diet and exercise is a big motivator now that I’m in my fifties. Also the writer life and career. The personal stuff with my family is often a day-to-day thing, but on Sundays, I consider the week as a whole.

Almost always, when the time comes for me to shower and get ready for church, my mind is cleansed. More importantly, however, I have a new set of drivers for the week ahead. Resolutions, if you will.

Like this week. I am going to eat as little processed sugar as possible and just see how the body feels. Also, I plan to complete the review of the collaboration and then get back to my latest book. I’m going to make my day job work better by striving to complete certain assignments in a more streamlined manner. It’ll improve my efficiency and I’ll get more projects out the door. I’m also going to resolve to leave the common areas of our house free from my own personal clutter. I’m talking the latest magazine folded open to the page I’m reading. Ditto for the history book I’m reading, the novel, and the comics I bought at Houston’s Comicpalooza over the weekend. I’m going to do one small thing that’ll help not only myself feel better about the house, but also help the wife and boy.

These weekly resolutions enable to me tweak habits and experiences along the way. New Year’s resolutions are fine and important, but they often get forgotten by the end of January to say nothing of May, September, or December. When you shrink the time down to a week, I can easily remember last week. It gives me the chance to adjust things along the way. And it serves as a positive reminder that if events of the coming week foil my plans, I’ll have another New Week’s Day the following Sunday. That reassurance is a key factor in always picking me up each Sunday morning and helping me face the coming week.

Have you tried weekly resolutions? You should. Pick a day and make that your New Week’s Day. Then you get to make some New Week’s Resolutions and see how you do. I suspect you’ll find the results more than satisfying. And, if you need more incentive, you’ll also get a New Week’s Eve

No comments: