I’ve been sorting through a lot of stuff lately, namely boxes that have remained unpacked for far too many years. It can be fun to look back and re-read old notes and articles. I also like to look back at posts on my personal blog to see where I was and what I was thinking at certain times. Some things change, but some things don’t. I found the following reflection from just about a year ago completely relevant and a great reminder of how lucky we are to live here, and why it’s important to slow down.
Unscheduled Sundays. I know it sounds like a good band name, huh? But it’s more like a gift you give yourself.
I’ve been spending a lot of effort lately in carving out “space” in my life for the unplanned. For rest. For reading. For whatever comes up.
And I’ve decided Sundays are a great day to try to keep “open.” Not an easy thing to do for a girl who has honed the ugly skill of scheduling too much, but I’m getting better. I had good reminders of why it’s important to “book” such unscheduled days this past Sunday.
I slept in. I worked on a few catch-up chores at a leisurely pace and got fired up to do a bunch more after I got a little exercise. As is so easy for me to do, I came up with a to-do list worthy of publication. I hoofed it up Madonna Mountain with friends, and then prepared to attack my long list with hyper efficiency. But my friends wanted to stop for lunch on the way home. Since I was hungry and thirsty myself, I agreed. We tossed around all kinds of suggestions, and while I had a little anxiety about “wasting time” to take a leisurely lunch, I enjoyed the fact, there was no set appointment I had to make later in the day.
We stopped at Marisol at the Cliff’s, knowing it was a bit cool still, the fog just lifting, and we might get lucky and score a table on the patio before the crowds arrived. Well we scored a table alright, right in front of the band that was just getting going for the afternoon. I used to be a regular at these lazy Sunday music sessions, but hadn’t been in a long time. As we settled in and ordered our food the sun started gaining strength. The sweatshirts came off and the ice waters were replaced with icy cold Coronas. The band Girls and Boys joined by Central Coast native Jody Mulgrew (who often plays with the Skeleton Crew) was amazing. We all looked at each other with this unspoken communication of “This pretty awesome.”
Within an hour or so, we were full, warm, and sitting there soaking up sunshine and the music. Kids were playing on the ocean-view grass below us. The to-do list was seeming less important with every minute. And being there in that moment seemed like the most important thing to all of us. Appreciating where it is we live, rather than worrying about vacuuming, laundry or all that will always be waiting for us. Beautiful summer afternoons are plentiful on the Central Coast, but they aren’t truly endless. And what’s not plentiful are days without an agenda where you can take advantage of magic moments you happen to stumble upon.
The only to-do I got done last Sunday was to book more unscheduled days on my calendar. And that is an accomplishment I’m still feeling pretty good about.
Jeanette Trompeter is a TV news anchor for the NBC affiliate KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo, CA. She grew up on the Central Coast and attended Cal Poly before working at KCCI in Des Moines, Iowa and WCCO in Twin Cities, Minnesota. She also hosted the nationally syndicated Better Homes and Gardens show and has won multiple Edward R Murrow awards for reporting. Jeanette returned to San Luis Obispo County in 2010, where her family resides.