But tomorrow is Sunday, and you don’t work on Sundays.
I know. But Sunday is the day before the day I work, so it gets poisoned.
Kate, Kate & Leopold
If you struggle with Mondays as much as I do, you are probably familiar with their evil predecessor, the dreaded Sunday night blues.
It’s hard to let go of Sunday, I wrote on Instagram once with a picture of the Anne book I was reading alongside no fewer than three notebooks and journals in which I had been writing.
I recognize these things about myself – how terrible I am at Mondays, for instance, or how blue I feel on Sunday night once the sun goes down – a long time before I figure out how to fix them. Then sometimes I figure it out a long time before I perfect it. It’s not easy breaking cliches and rising above our basic instincts to be miserable.
Here are some of the things I’ve found that keep the poison out of Sunday and bring the good Sunday stuff into the rest of the week.
A few precious moments with the day planner
The worst thing about the work-slash-school week is that once you’re in it you don’t get to make any decisions for yourself. Dueling schedules run over every inch of your days except for the few brief moments when you crash in front of Netflix because the crazy schedule killed your soul. When the week ends you haven’t done any of it on purpose. It’s heartbreaking. Of course when Sunday night rolls around again, we’re sad. I’m finally figuring out how much more intentional the week can feel just to spend a few minutes on Sunday putting it all into focus. Last week, when I did this, I realized I had only one evening free from music, drama, basketball, or more basketball. No problem. One free evening was better than none, and by looking ahead I could remind myself, “I chose every bit of this. I want to be a basketball mom.” One night into that week, and I discovered a part of the schedule someone forgot to mention. The free evening disappeared as quickly as the weekend, but it didn’t throw me nearly like it would have if I hadn’t seen the rest of the week with such clarity. The ultimate goal will be to plug into my week blog-writing, novel-writing, etc. For now, these are still figured in pretty loosely. Which brings me to the next purposeful thing.
Re-writing all the important things on my heart
I know who I am, I know what I want to be. I know the life goals that don’t have anything to do with my current job. I have a brand, a list of character traits I want to live by, an understanding of the most-important-things. Sundays are the perfect day to remind myself of these so I can bring them with me into all the other days.
And here’s a good one:
As a creative with the schedule previously mentioned, I generally feel if I’m not at the day job or at an event, I should be writing, planning to write, marketing my book, redesigning my blog, watching a webinar, taking notes, wondering if I should go back to school, or generally doing anything remotely related to the work life of my dreams. Now I realize finishing a book I’m reading feels productive, too, and it doesn’t feel anything like work. An intentional movie-watch (start to finish, with no commercials) has its place, too. And at least a few minutes of giving Jake my actual, head-up, eyes-forward attention always makes the weekend what a weekend ought to be. And if the weekend is what it’s supposed to be, the week doesn’t seem horrible at all.
Until I accomplish some very specific (and somewhat lofty) goals, my work week will continue to take up a lot more of my time than the weekend does. My only hope to suck out the poison is to spread Sunday all the way through that mess and bless every day with the good stuff. I think it’s possible. I definitely have hope.