By Sean McVeigh
The more I think about it, that guy Peter Pan had the right idea. Neverland sounds like the place for me. Being a responsible adult, not as much. These days, during the weekends, I do a pretty nice job of pretending that I am in Neverland. Maybe not every weekend, but I think we are all familiar with the weekends of which I speak. Let me set the scene for you: It’s been a long week and you are ready to look for the bare necessities. There is not a care in the world to be had and, if there is, it certainly is not finding me. Life is good! Let’s get after it!
At the same time (and unfortunately, always too late), I am realizing that these are the weekends that tend to backfire on you the most. Very quickly you go from “life is good” to “oh $%!*, is it Sunday night already?” Just like that you fade from a blissful weekend haze and begin to sink into the terrifying realities of the real world. The walls are closing in and it feels like the end is nigh. What happened to those jolly ol’ times from just a day or two ago? This feeling of impending doom that overcomes even the strongest willed of us at the close of the weekend has come to be known as the “Sunday scaries.”
I am hard pressed to think of a more aptly named term. As silly as it may sound, there is nothing more anxiety inducing than slowly remembering your responsibilities as the end of the weekend ticks closer and closer. You know all of those tasks that you forgot existed for 48-72 hours. Guess what? They sure as sunshine didn’t forget about you! They’re back with a vengeance. Sunday is supposed to be the day of rest. You had big plans, but your body and mind have other plans as your heart beats out of your chest and your mind races at a million miles an hour. All of these thoughts about the week to come are popping into your head, one after another, completely uninvited. This is an all-out mental blitz. You try to fight back: “Just relax, it’ll be OK. I can get it all done. There isn’t too much.” But it is to no avail—it’s a losing battle. The “scaries” are in charge here.
A lot of the time there isn’t even a specific task that you can point to (although, trust me, sometimes there is). You just are not ready for your precious off-days to end. What even happened this weekend? Was it a total waste of time? Could I have done more? Couldn’t I be better rested, had a better time, and still been more prepared for the week that lies ahead?
Monday morning rolls around and your alarm clock blares you out of your terrible night sleep. You start your week expecting the worst and you know what happens? It turns out that things are not as bad as they seemed. As it happens, against all odds, the sun rose just the same as it has always done. The thing about the Sunday scaries is that the bark is almost always bigger than the bite. You can handle it. You put your head down and do what you have to do. It’s really not that bad.
As the next Thursday night rolls around, the grind begins to catch up with you and by the time Friday arrives, you are ready to shut it all down and forget your worries for a couple of days all over again. The week, like life, is just one vicious cycle.