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Sunday night review (and the start of this newsletter
Some people write about using Sunday afternoon or evening as an opportunity to plan for the week. You review the calendar, you check your to-do lists, you make your meals (or menus).
I applaud the idea. But I struggle when you encourage others to do that Sunday evening review.
Some of us don’t have weeks like that.
I hospital Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I do my other kinds of work the rest of the week. Sunday evenings are not the beginning of the week.
My coworkers have schedules that have order but aren’t divided into the weekend and the week. (When you are a team of chaplains serving 24/7/365.25, there actually isn’t a weekend and a week).
It’s not just the Sunday review people that annoy me.
The bank teller has a script that asks, “Any exciting plans for the weekend?” I constantly have to refrain from saying, “Maybe watching a heart attack.” Or something worse.
I understand that it sounds like I’m being cranky on a Sunday evening after work.
I’m reminding us that the most important part of finding helpful words in hard times is to pause for a moment to consider their situation, not ours. And to acknowledge that situation.
In the situation of the Sunday review, call it a weekly review. Say that you do yours on Sunday and that you know there are
many people whose week starts at different times.
In the case of the banker, say, “Working this weekend or are you off?
The opportunities to be attuned to others abound.
Some friends watched an almost adult child leave the country for a semester of study abroad. For the next four months, they will be acutely aware of the news from that part of the world. And so will we. When we hear of troubles there, we will pray for and reach out to our friends.
I’m hearing about friends with multiple deaths in their circles. I’m aware of the opportunity to acknowledge that I’ve heard and care. (And will this week).
I’m aware that a murder in Memphis last week has injured hearts in the community where I live, in people I know. And I have the opportunity to choose to listen.
There’s an ancient practice of sitting quietly and reflecting on our day, asking God to help us see where we cared, where we didn’t, how we might adjust, and that we are loved by God.
That practice teaches us that we aren’t as bad as we think, that we can be more helpful, and that we can by guided by love.
And it helps us see where and how we can attend to others.
Thank you for subscribing to “Finding Words in Hard Times.” I will do what I can to be helpful. And I’ll welcome questions and suggestions that can help me respond to needs you have.
I’m working on a series of posts drawing on my research on what people find helpful following loss. The first, on storytelling, will be out in a week.
I’ll see you then.
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