What I talk about when I talk about the Sunday Scaries, is not so much an internal dread of commencing a new work week, but rather, an internal dread of commencing a new work week that feels like walking the wrong direction on an escalator that is the physical embodiment of my life and time.
So when I say this year has felt like one long Sunday Scary, you’ll have a better understanding of what I mean.
It’s not the work itself. It’s not the job. The job is the dream; the job is the personal amusement I get in telling people what I do—for money, to pay my bills—on a day to day basis, and then watching their eyes go wide, even if only for a second, before hearing some variation of, “I’ve never met one of you before.”
It’s not the work. It’s not the job.
It’s the routine. It’s the recognition that there are two hours out of every Sunday that have been the same for the past seven years. Two hours I set aside to mentally assemble a week that also hasn’t varied much since I entered the workforce full-time, and had to make peace with the fact that my years were no longer to be thought of as neatly packaged chunks of time, one completely unique from the other, divided by gulfs of repose.
More than the routine, it’s coming to terms with the fact that no matter how strongly I adhere to my practice, it and I do not live in a bubble of safety. No amount of preparation on a Sunday can shield me from a bomb the world wants to detonate at my feet.
But let me backtrack here, because what I really talk about when I talk about this year having felt like one long Sunday Scary, is not even so much an internal dread of repeating ad infinitum a new work week that feels like walking the wrong direction on an escalator that is the physical embodiment of my life and time, but rather, not quite being able to figure out how to jump off without severely hurting myself.
Or before someone, or something, comes along and decides it’s time for me to shove along. As they have. As they’ve done.
Like getting a call on Mother’s Day—a Sunday, my day of laying groundwork, groundwork that forges the path I strategically map out as assurance for a hassle-free, drama-free, and painless existence—with the news that my abuelita has taken a sudden turn for the worse, her battle with cancer quickly winding to an end, and the window to say goodbye estimated to close in the next 24 to 48 hours.
To stumble and fall on an escalator is a terrifying thing to have happen to you. What if the metal teeth eat at the hem of your pants, or the sleeve of your sweater? Even worse: a finger, or your hair?
You lose a part of yourself, I suppose. Hopefully something that’s replaceable, or can grow back. If it can’t, you hobble along and adapt to a new way of being.
The real question is, how many times does adaptation occur before finding that your evolution is no longer suited for the escalator? Then, how long until you realize it never was?
“Ser lo. Haz lo,” fills the space of remembrance when I think of my abuelita. Be it. Do it. These are not suggestions. They’re commands.
I now feel them constantly in the process of my evolution: aggressors in the air, goading the chemical reactions in my body and brain, mutating me into something I’m not yet well acquainted with—mutating me into something no longer equipped to repeat ad infinitum a new work week, a new work month, a new work year that feels like walking the wrong direction on an escalator that is the physical embodiment of my life and time.
Mutating me into something no longer equipped for the complicity of it.