It's kind of like trying to have a picnic in the rain
Maybe it's just me.
Sundays are great. Sundays are for second cups of coffee, quiet reflection, and curling up with a good book. I have no problem with Sundays in and of themselves.
My only problem with Sundays is that they always seem to end in Sunday nights.
And that is most definitely a problem.
Faced with the looming reality of Monday morning, Sunday nights can feel like nothing more than a foreshadowing of things to come. No matter what I am trying to enjoy on any given Sunday night, I always find myself struggling to ignore the heavy omen of What Lies Ahead.
It's kind of like trying to have a picnic in the rain.
I should know because I have been there. A few years ago, my family congregated at a local military museum for a Memorial Day picnic. We spread out our tablecloths and food and prepared to spend the afternoon catching up. As soon as we had we gotten ourselves settled in, it started to rain. Not just a little spring drizzle, but a great torrential downpour that sent us all scurrying for the cover of our respective vehicles - arms laden with casserole dishes, umbrellas, and crying babies.
We spent the next half hour or so sitting in our cars, passing ketchup bottles and bags of chips between the front and back seats, wishing we had wound up in the same car as the chocolate chip cookies, and staring forlornly at the storm that threatened to ruin our little reunion.
There we were, trying to enjoy ourselves, when that storm came crashing down with the fury of men and angels and chased us all inside. We still had a good time, but there's no doubt the rain messed up our plans for the day. After we finished our lunches cramped in our cars, we walked around the museum we had come to see with squeaky wet shoes, all chilled from our mad dash through the parking lot.
That's kind of how I feel on Sunday nights. I can be in the middle of a wonderful, relaxing evening; but Monday is always there, always waiting, always reminding me that my weekend is on the verge of riding off into the sunset and leaving me standing out in the rain. Monday colors everything gray and cold.
It's not that I don't want to go to my job. As far as jobs go, I've got a good one that fits my personality well.
(And we have a free coffee bar.)
No, it's not that. It's the knowledge that a whole week of early rising, trips to school, trips to work, help with homework, trips to the store, keeping up with dishes, keeping up with laundry, keeping up with the mess (as if there is such a thing!), and a whole bunch of other stuff will start raining down on me the moment I wake up on Monday morning.
The funny thing is, once I get through Monday morning, I'm fine. The rest of the week goes pretty smoothly. The line has been crossed, the barrier has been broken, and everything settles down into its well-oiled (if slightly hectic) routine.
I know this because I go through it every week.
Every. Single. Week.
As another Sunday afternoon morphs into another Sunday night, there I am, fighting off thoughts of Monday morning like there's no tomorrow. Then Monday dawns like it always does, and I survive like I always do, and the rest of the week carries on without much ado.
So what is going on here??
I've been doing some reading, and I have discovered this is a common phenomenon affecting a lot of other people out there. There is something about the transition from the freedom of the weekend to the daily grind of the work week that throws many of us into a frenzy of anxiety, stress, and worry.
I think I know a better way.
I'm pretty sure I could cure my Sunday Night Blues if I moved to a beach house and hired a maid and a cook and never had to work another day in my life. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening anytime soon. Like not in this lifetime. I'll still have to go to work, my kids will still have to go to school, and the last time I checked, maids and cooks don't really appreciate working for free.
So what now?
I think the answer - the real, honest, game-changing answer - lies not in my circumstances but in my attitude. I think the key is to recognize that every moment of every day (even Monday!) is another one of the indescribable, irretrievable morsels of my life.
After all, what's the big deal? Monday is just another day. Just another 24-hour period I have been given to use in any way I want. I can use it for good (sing along with the radio or smile at a stranger), use it for bad (complain about my kids or the traffic), or even just waste it altogether by letting my morning get lost in the rush of routine.
The choice is mine to make.
If I can learn to joyfully embrace my Monday mornings, I have a feeling my Sunday nights will finally be free.
I think it's time to ditch my umbrella and get on with the business of living.