What the Hell

What the Hell

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday Night Blues

Why is it that since I was a child, every Sunday evening repeatedly casts its dark pall of gloom and dread and throws me into an existential crisis and complete panic about every minute aspect of my life?  The current circumstances of my life seem not to matter; it is constant experience for me.  When I was growing up I could say that it was because of the torment of my school days and the inevitable dance to please and be accepted by my peers, then as a young adult, a succession of jobs which were drudgery to me except for the pay which allowed me to do something else; like go away to college or, after I married, pay the bills and eventually go back to college.  Then in later adulthood I had some fulfilling but emotionally draining jobs that I dreaded going to every Monday that were undoubtedly a factor.  For some years now I haven't had to work other than part time hours in the co-op gallery my husband and I are members of, and keeping up things around our house.  Whether we are churched or unchurched at the time does not seem to enter into the equation.  We are both people of faith, and yet, the familiar pattern repeats itself.  Each weekend is heralded by Friday and endless possibilities, especially if it is a payday.  Paying bills and having money left over is always cause for elation and a rosy expectant hope for the future.  Saturday seems too short for all the wonderful things my husband and I could do together, including being lazy bums if we get the chance, and that carries over into Sunday, sometimes marked by a late big breakfast at home.  Then late Sunday afternoon rolls around and BOOM, out of seemingly nowhere, it hits, even after the most idyllic of weekends.  I've pondered it for years, but never come up with an answer.  Why does life seem so much scarier before a new week starts??  There is even a song about lost love called Gloomy Sunday, written by a Hungarian songwriter in the 1930's and made famous by many world singers including the American Billie Holliday.  Ironically, Hungary has a historically high suicide rate, and among the other countries that share the designation are the Baltic states.  The songwriter himself jumped from a bridge in Budapest.    I read that German and Swedish researchers found that the day is the least happy of the week for many people... There is that distinct feeling of unmet expectations.  It is often referred to as the Sunday Blues....

"Many people get stressed about work, especially in this tough economy. For some, these pressures escalate from worry into disabling anxiety—about chores undone at home, tasks not completed at work, or weekend time simply vanishing too quickly. Symptoms can start as early as Sunday afternoon and may include a sense of impending disaster, irritability, insomnia and the physical expressions of a panic attack, such as racing thoughts, perspiration and even heart palpitations.  As real as it is to those who experience it, the Sunday blues do not constitute a psychiatric condition, says Larina Kase, PsyD, a business psychologist, author of Anxious 9 to 5 (New Harbinger Publications, 2006) and founder of SundaySyndrome.com. “Because it's not a clinical disorder, it's hard to quantify,” says Kase, a former faculty member at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania who is now in private practice."

I'm glad to hear it's not a clinical disorder, and relieved that others besides me suffer from it.  I don't know if that makes it any less distressing, but  I suppose it makes me more aware of the limitations of being human.  No doubt we all feel like there is so little time and so much to do, and that everything we do should matter in some way....So how about we ponder this quote by Albert Einstein?

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.   


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