Do you remember that feeling you would get when you knew that your weekend was over? You had to go back to school, start a new week, and it stretched out ahead of you? I used to dread it like nobody’s business. I could never sleep, and although I wasn’t the one who procrastinated my work until Sunday night (I had it done Friday afternoon), I would still think that something wasn’t complete or that I had forgotten about some test/presentation that week. In any case, Monday would come and I’d be mildly relieved that my horrible anticipation of what might be coming didn’t come true, although I’d be so exhausted from not sleeping or camping out in one of my sister’s rooms I wouldn’t be able to be happy enough about it.
I thought that it would continue into my adult years. I anticipated it coming back with a vengeance, and worried how it would impact my own kids once I had them. Strangely enough, it never happened. I remember telling my husband about it, and how shocked I was that I never really felt the way that I did. He wasn’t impressed. Maybe he’s just so laid back that he doesn’t have to worry about these things. I felt so much better about the fact that I could help him calm our kids down if necessary, because I was able to feel balanced about my own work week. I know I have coworkers who still dread the start of a new week as I did when I was younger, send sad-faced emoticons and long texts laden with the dread that was to come and the amazing time they had with their children. I mean, believe me, I get it. It sucks to start a new work week. But I haven’t been dreading it as much as I thought I might.
For one, I am older now, and I know I can do things that I wouldn’t have done at younger ages. For example, I can have a glass of wine or two with dinner, or during football season, some beers while watching the game. I’m not a student anymore, which means I don’t have to study/do homework/finish a paper late into the night. My kids have started making their own lunches, which makes it easier every night before work and school to be ready for the day. And I am more likely to use my weekends for things that make me happy, not things that I feel I HAVE to do, as I once did. It’s not that I have become more of a procrastinator; that is definitely not in my nature. I have just begun to prioritize things, and work isn’t always at the top of my list. Without work looming overhead, I just relax on Sunday nights, sometimes even cracking open a book to read and enjoy instead of answering 1001 emails or preparing myself for that week. I know I can spare a few minutes during my hectic work day to take care of this, and I have become very efficient at this task.
Another thing I know sometimes helps is when your kids love to start a new school week, that it can rub off on you. Not just so you all get a break from each other, but because their enthusiasm is infectious. I used to get upset when my kids’ faces would fall when they realized Saturday and Sunday weren’t school days. I was like, what? Why wouldn’t they want to spend some down time with mommy and daddy? Then I realized they like routine just as much as I do, and on top of that, they get to play with their friends and do fun creative stuff that I know I just don’t have the time or energy to plan and execute. So I got over it fast, and started to be happy with them. Why not? I thrive on routine, too, so why be upset about a new work week?
Now don’t get me wrong, I know my kids won’t love school forever. I’m quite sure when that happens, but I know it’s coming. Maybe when they have homework but maybe now with all of the testing that happens in our country, maybe when they start testing, too. I am sure I will have to reevaluate my feelings on Sundays then. So I’ll enjoy my peaceful Saturday afternoon and my Sunday, too, and love the fact that I can. For now.