Since I made the decision to keep Sundays safe at the beginning of the year, I have only failed once. Yesterday I felt that I might have finally secured its sacredness again. By this I mean it is not even tainted by Sunday syndrome and it is free of any overhanging guilt, worry, or anxiety over weekday matters.
It took a while but what helped is just deciding and acting on the decision. Easier said than done. Because the first few Sundays were uneasy and even downright uncomfortable. Even with very tight deadlines on the sidelines, I shut down completely on Sundays. It would not have made a difference even if I worked on a Sunday. I was already too tired and too frustrated. And I realized that it didn't help my overall tolerance of having to do dayjob if I allowed it to eat up Sundays.
So I have been keeping my Sundays free even if I had to sacrifice Saturdays way too frequently -- this is next on the list to fix.
What are Sundays best for? Rest. Lots of it. Spontaneous naps. Not letting the anxiety of "doing nothing" ruin the day. To break the belief pattern that productivity rules - definitely no weekend warrior-ing for me. Simple rest. Sleeping, reading, being slow and quiet.
The ideal really is a three-day weekend:
Day 1 is to get all the chores and errands that often get pushed aside by the demands of dayjob. (Saturday)
Day 2 is to rest. (Sunday)
Day 3 is to have a full day just for the pursuit of happiness and passion -- in my case, it's a full day of studio creative time. (Monday)
I'm currently working on the Saturdays and the Mondays.
Because of the recent sideline workload, I have only been able to have Sundays. Still, it's a vast improvement from pre-pandemic days.
Currently, Saturdays often get their mornings sacrificed but I keep the afternoons and evenings for myself. Mondays often end up becoming sideline work days instead of studio days although I have managed to keep it meeting-free and deadline-free. Sunday syndrome doesn't work if there's no Monday dread, so I take out anything that could bring dread on a Monday.
My studio work has been suffering for the past weeks because I still haven't found the right blend and allocation of energies -- sidelines still consume so much mentally, physically, and emotionally. Even with a decent amount of time left in the evenings I am often too worn out to focus despite all the Things that want to pour on paper or canvas.
So I need more fine-tuning on the sideline jobs I do. Negotiate for better timelines, for one. And just avoid any work that will be too draining than most. I must also have a better "structure" for the studio work so that it is not so easily swept away by the pounding waves of dayjob responsibilities.
This is such a boring post! I'm just thinking "aloud" here, trying to make myself feel that all is not lost, dream-wise. Because that is how I am feeling really, that I have been swallowed up again by the daily mundane routines and I could not find my way back to the forest.