Life Unmoored

Reflections on thriving in uncertainty.
Do you suffer from Week Creep?

Do you suffer from Week Creep?

Sundays fuck with me. Always have. Stems back to my youth, when I’d awake excited and head out to play, only to find all my pals were off at church. Didn’t matter that they were miserable, stuck in the pews listening to some old man tell ghost stories. I was alone, counting the hours until they returned. My family didn’t honor the sabbath. My father, a man of science, never spoke of church or religion. It didn’t exist, leaving our Sundays without form or connection.

Which brings us to my current problem with Sundays: Week Creep.

Week Creep is like high blood pressure: silent and deadly. You don’t feel it until it’s right on top of you–the weight of the week ahead. It’s bigger than lamenting Monday morning. Week Creep is about the to-do list of your life staring you in the face. All the unchecked boxes: career ambitions, financial plans, diet, exercise, hopes, aspirations–all come into focus on Sunday after a week of neglect. I’m not talking about the little stuff that keeps your head above water. I’m talking about the big stuff. The stuff you tell yourself you need to do to put your life’s path on a more meaningful trajectory. The stuff most of us are guilty of pushing to the bottom of our inbox.

It’s goes like this: Mondays, we attack the easy stuff–the tasks that come at us not from us. Replying to the endless emails, taking the meeting that won’t make a fucking lick of difference, accepting the volunteer position you got suckered into. We say yes to things we know won’t move our life forward. We choose to maintain rather than grow. And as the week progresses, these compromises disguise themselves as progress.

By Wednesday, we negotiate with ourselves. The weekend is only two days away. “I’ll really focus on myself this weekend,” we tell ourselves. But first, I need to reward myself for all the bullshit I endured Monday and Tuesday. Pop a cork.

Thursday, a little foggy from the the night before, you rally to get some shit wrapped up to make you feel like you had a productive week. (because you know damn well you’re going to do everything you can on Friday to do as little as possible).

Come Friday, you feel like you’re at the end of a marathon, slogging to make the last few miles. But in this case, the finish line is Happy Hour. Time to celebrate making it through another week. Time to bitch about the grind. Time to anesthetize to avoid the painful fact you did jack shit to tackle one of the big hairy audacious goals you have written down in some journal you told yourself you’d start in 2017. New Year. New You. Right?

Hello, Saturday. Weighed down from the booze and food — you’re already starting from behind. This was the day reserved to hit the big stuff. But it doesn’t happen. Starting big things means commitment. So instead you choose to tackle something more manageable. Something inconsequential, but holding the promise of achievement. Maybe that leaky faucet you’ve been meaning to fix. Eight hours later, the afternoon gone–spent shuttling back and forth to Home Depot, the leaky pipe in your house is fixed. But the leaky pipe in your head keeps dripping–you know deep-down that you wasted another Saturday.

Come Sunday morning, those relentless drips create an ocean-raging and turbulent, with you stuck in it. No paddle. No waypoint. Just bobbing about aimlessly and out of control. Monday is coming. Week Creep is bearing down full-force, an elephant on your chest.

All you’ve got left is Sunday–10 hours–to make a big move. Not ten uninterrupted hours, mind you. But ten hours filled with the needs of a spouse, three kids, a puppy, and an email inbox. You tell yourself it’s not fair. Life shouldn’t come down to this. We should all have more time. You get pissed. You know it’s your own damn fault. So you lash out at anyone but yourself. Your boss, your spouse, your kids–they never let up long enough for you to have some personal time. Some time to really focus. Eventually, the worst happens, feeling powerless, the anger and resentment mutates into ugliest of monsters: apathy. You succumb to the way things are versus the way they oughta be.

Finally, you commit the ultimate sin: you peak at your inbox. It’s jammed. And immediately, you’re already there: Monday. At your job. Suffering. The few precious hours left in your Sunday evening? They don’t even exist. Instead of reaching for your running shoes to run around the block or heading down to the coffeeshop to scribe a few words — anything to start a habit — you reach for the remote. You accept that you already wasted it. Not the weekend, but the week that was. You hate yourself for it. You tell yourself this week will be different, but for now, you gotta catch-up on Game of Thrones. Wash, rinse and repeat.

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