Work. Grocery shopping. School supplies. Giving the girls a few more opportunities to make summer memories. Conference call. Edits on content. Get to the gym. Transfer money to the bank.
I lay in bed and the thoughts overwhelm me. One after another pops into my head, creating layer upon layer of to-do action items. Layers of anxiety. Layers of things I have to do.
It's Sunday night, and tomorrow is the first day back to school for Hubby. Chica has one more week before she has to board the bus for her First Day of School, but since Hubby is a teacher, he has a week of inservice. And despite having one more week with the girls, it feels like the unofficial end of summer the day he goes back. It's when everything changes and we begin to settle into our School Year Routine. And right on cue, The Sunday Night Thoughts come raging back.
Sunday evenings are spent in anticipation of the week to come. It's like being at a race and suddenly your prepping on the starting line, heart racing for the starting gun to go off. Some weeks, I'm set well and start strong. Other weeks I fumble over my shoelace and face plant the moment I'm told to "go."
So, as much as I try to prep and fight it, I spend many Sunday nights laying in bed inundated with various work projects on tap for the week, the errands I have to run, the meals I need to cook. But minds are funny things. And inevitably my rushing thoughts become more deeper, more provoking. Thoughts about heading to the store for school supplies sparks a wondering if my girls had a good summer. Did we do enough? Did we eat enough popsicles? Did we make enough memories? I make a mental note to consider hitting the beach one more time, if our schedule allows.
I start going through my grocery list, making sure not to forget that we need hand soap. And I find myself feeling bored with the current rotation of recipes. Are my meals interesting enough? Healthy enough? Is it bad that Chica eats waffles for breakfast every morning? Am I eating healthy enough? I promise myself not to buy junk food this week and make a commitments snack less after the girls go to bed (a struggle I've been having).
The word struggle reminds me of the frustration faced earlier in the evening at bed time. My patience has been thin with night time requests. Just go to bed! is so often my refrain. I'm reminded of how often I'm short with the girls, how often I raise my voice. I watched that damn Quaker Oats video a few minutes ago and was bawling. The days are long, the years are short, I chide myself. My kids just want time with me. And I have a haunting fear I don't give them enough of myself.
Suddenly, my mental to-do list becomes a progressively weightier guilt pressing on my shoulders: Am I efficient enough? Am I healthy enough? Am I connecting with my friends enough? Am I keeping up with work enough? Am I parenting well enough?
Am I enough enough?
No wonder we dread Mondays.
I go to sleep defeated before I even start my week. As I lay there allowing my seeming inefficiencies to take over, a small, confident voice clearly rings:
Tomorrow is a new day.
It's my own voice, a stronger part of myself declaring reason amidst the muck. Tomorrow is a new day. It's a fresh start. No matter how full my to-do list is, I have a new week to accomplish it all. Despite how defeated I'm feeling on so many fronts, I have a blank slate on which to try again. I will wake up tomorrow with a new opportunity to parent differently, to be a better friend And yes, even to get to the gym (oy!).
For the first time, I decided that instead of looking toward the new week with dread, I could embrace the opportunity for new beginnings and fresh starts.
We have a choice, friends. Every week. Really, every day: to dread or embrace. To be overcome or to OVERCOME.
I choose to conquer this week.
And if I fail?
Tomorrow is a new day.
Choose to OVERCOME this week.