During dinner with a close friend Friday night, she was telling me that her Sunday plans to take a day trip to see her family for Father's Day fell through and she'd be staying in town after all. To which I squealed, "Secret Sunday!" Until that moment, I'd never actually given it a term, but it's something I embrace and encourage as often as possible: giving an unexpected opening in your schedule back to yourself—and no one else. This particular friend is a busy restaurant owner and days off are scarce, let alone days when she can actually skip town. So my suggestion to her: stay the course. Keep the day running as though she'd still be absent, at least as far as the outside world is concerned. Don't go into the restaurant, don't answer emails with the same urgency, don't let anyone know you're here and free after all (unless it involves alternate plans you really, really want to make—and will enjoy)...
...No matter how rewarding our weekends are, I think a lot of us with there were a supplemental "eighth" day to treat ourselves to on occasion, especially when so much of our Saturdays an Sundays can be devoted to errands, to-do lists, and items shoved off from the week. So why not take what you can get? Secret Sundays can happen anytime, really. It's not about the day of the week, but rather the practice. I have friends who routinely give themselves cushion days at the end of a vacation; they might say they're returning on a Wednesday, while actually returning the day before, hence finding themselves with more time to settle in, assess their workload and social calendar, and actually enjoy the lingering buzz of their getaway. Even if it's not a vacation, a soft landing can make a world of difference when it comes to a prepared and clearer-eyed, reentry.
When a friend or acquaintance cancels a plan, too often do I find myself scrambling to fill that slot with a new one—seeing someone I was supposed to meet later in the week, for instance, or someone I had originally tried to make a date with, but couldn't at the time. I used to think it was a way of being efficient with my agenda, but I'm trying to temper that and instead take the opportunity to go home, do that mounting load of laundry, slip into a last-minute yoga class, or even just read a magazine.
Whether or not my friend gave herself the Secret Sunday, I don't know. In hopes that she did, I chose not to check in and find out—not that she would have responded, hopefully not even to me.