The First Sunday Morning of the Year
Not because I want to be, but my son has knocked on our bedroom door and asked for his usual breakfast: peanut butter and jam on toast. My wife almost always gets up to do this while I sleep another hour or so.
Even though I start my year in a way that matches up with the start of the school year, I almost always get caught up in some aspect of the hoopla surrounding the start of a calendar year. So I’m making some slight changes to how I operate. One of the things I decided to do as I heard my son knocking on the door was to ask my wife if she wanted to me to get up and take care of my son’s breakfast.
Not surprisingly, she wanted me to do that. (Although it may have surprised her that I was awake to hear his request and willing to get up and fulfill it.)
I got up and made his breakfast. I also made my coffee, just like I usually do — Bulletproof Coffee during the weekdays and regular coffee on weekends. At that moment I made another decision: to go back to starting my work week on Sunday’s. I still categorize it as a Family Day, but since I end most of the week at 2:30 when my kids are done school I figure I can do some writing and other bits of work on Sundays again.
“I’ll be flexible about it,” I thought to myself. “So it’ll be a hybrid day more than anything else.”
After delivering breakfast to my five year old son, I went to my bedroom and got dressed. My coffee was still “brewing” in the AeroPress, so I took the time to throw on some comfortable clothes — clothes I definitely wouldn’t wear on a workday. Nike pants, my Inside The Jungle t-shirt, and then my weathered Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals jersey to complete the ensemble. (After all, I watch every Bengals game there is — and they were playing the Baltimore Ravens at 10 am Pacific today.)
Then I decided I’d start doing something else.
I went back to my bedroom and asked Anne if she’d be cool with me going for a walk — my first Sunday morning walk. I think I surprised her again with that question.
I put on my outdoor wear — a cold weather coat, toque, and running shoes. I grabbed my iPhone and some third-party earbuds I’d been given to review a while back. I fired up my Contemplation playlist on the device, put on some gloves from the living room bureau, grabbed my Bulletproof Coffee firmly ensconced in a travel mug, and headed out the door.
The sidewalks were dusted with a light frost. I treated carefully at first, not being able to tell how much traction my shoes had. But the frost was more decorative than anything else, so I became more confident of my footing with every stride. I walked four blocks at slow pace, coming across only one person walking their dog along the way.
I didn’t see a single car driving along the road until I came to the first major intersection. Still, I was able to cross the intersection on a “Don’t Walk” sign — something I’d never been able to do before. (That said, I’d never been out for a walk this early on a Sunday morning.)
As I crossed the street I noticed how still it was on the opposite side.
The sun was rising and the street was filled with parked cars and not much else. The song “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds was playing in my ears and once I landed on the other side of the street I did the first thing that came to mind. I took a picture.
I was going to turn around and head back home after that. I had every intention of walking up my street on one side and then back home on the other side.
But I didn’t. I just kept walking. Up the cross street and then back across the crosswalk in the direction I’d came, albeit a block further up.
I kept walking..and thinking. I thought about some of the things I wanted to write. I thought about my wife and kids and how lucky I am (that Ben Folds song had come back around on the repeating shuffled playlist). I thought about how amazing the city I live in is.
I’d only seen five people outside up to this point, but it seemed as if the rest of Victoria was starting to come outdoors. I saw families walking down the street, joggers out for their morning run, and homeowners taking out the trash.
The quiet was slowly going away. It was time to go home.
I was two-thirds of the way home when the song Weighty Ghost by Wintersleep started playing. I turned to look back at where I’d just been and caught a glimpse of the sun peering out over the rooftops of some houses behind me.
“Another photo op,” I decided.
I walked much further than I had though I would for my first Sunday morning walk of the year. I figured I’d be gone for about fifteen minutes, tops. Then I’d be home again, ready to start the day. But as I walked I realized that I really started my day by deciding to get out of bed and do something new and different. The landscape of how Sunday’s started had changed for this one day…and I made another decision as I approached the front door of my home.
I’m going to start every Sunday this way.
I’ll get up and take care of my son’s breakfast (at least until he is old enough to do it himself). I’ll make my Bulletproof Coffee to go. I won’t have to ask Anne if I can head out for my morning walk because it’ll be part of my Sunday morning ritual. I’ll go for a morning walk. I’ll set myself up for an amazing start to my week.
And then I’ll come home and keep the momentum going.