Sunday nights

Growing up, Sunday night was one of my favourite times of the week.  We would have a nice family dinner, and relax after the weekend.  My Mum (who’s a Presbyterian minister) would be finished with church; no one would have extra curricular activities; there was often something good on TV.

When I was at University, Sunday night was for catching up.  My part time job meant I worked all day Saturday and Sunday, so on Sunday night I had to work on notes and assignments, and prepare for the week ahead.  But it was always quite calm, and was a bit of a change from the hectic weeks.

But as I’ve grown into the world of work, my Sunday nights have become less and less positive.  There have been jobs I liked, where Sunday nights were fine – a time for winding down.  And then there have been jobs I don’t like, where Sunday nights are less than ideal.  They start off okay, but at some point, usually about 7pm, my mind switches over.  I switch out of laidback-leisure mode into worried-work mode.  Before I even get back to work for the week, I start to stress about it.  Not usually about anything in particular – I could understand fretting about a big presentation or important report – just generally feeling tense about the week ahead.

And for me, this is a pretty big sign that I’m in the wrong job.

And when I arrive at work on Monday, there are even more signs in the conversations with my colleagues.  I start off with a “How are you?”  – pretty standard.  Not too creative, I’ll admit, but plenty of potential answers.  But the responses I get tend to follow a pattern:  I get “Not bad – only 4 days til Friday!” or “Well, I was better yesterday, of course”.  Or if I kick off with “How was your weekend?” it’s “Nowhere near long enough…” or “It was great – 2 days of freedom! Now back to the grindstone.”

This is pretty typical, I think, of many modern work places.  And mostly people think nothing of it. But for me, it’s a concern.  Why are so many of us toiling away at jobs we dislike?  How is it affecting us to be constantly clock-watching and dreaming of the weekend? How can we positively impact our communities when we’re spending 80% of our time at such negative workplaces?  What can we do to shift towards a more positive work paradigm?

I don’t have answers to those questions.  Not for me, and definitely not for anyone else.  But I plan to find out a bit more during my time off, and use the answers to guide me in my future choices.  And whatever choices I make, I’m hoping I’ll be back to Sunday nights that are for relaxation and family, and are a time where I look forward to the week ahead with excitement, rather than dread.

I’m claiming my Sunday nights back.  Starting now.  Who’s with me?

One thought on “Sunday nights

  1. Amanda Leek says:

    You said it all, my friend. This absolutely captured my Sunday night browsing, as I often absorb all the career advice I can get online to remind myself there is something else I could be doing during the week – lest I forget my (stead + ongoing) temp job is, well, temporary – and not my life path stretching out without my permission.
    It’s a beautiful post. =)


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