It's Sunday night, and this feeling is all too familiar.
Tomorrow, I have to wake up and start the work week all over again, biding my time until Friday. Yesterday, Saturday, it seemed as if I could do anything. I woke up to the sun, listened to the wind and birds outside, and leapt out of bed two hours later... because I could and I wanted to. With nowhere in particular to go, I had myself a leisurely breakfast. I spent my day relaxing, anxiety a long-forgotten relic of the week past, re-watching my favorite movies and replaying my favorite video games.
Sunday always starts out similarly, except there's a feeling in my gut, like anticipation. By the time the afternoon rolls around, I feel it again. That anxiety.
And then it's Sunday night. And the feeling has fully set in. The feeling that I've done nothing productive that weekend, even though I told myself I would. The feeling that time is passing by, and I'm just an onlooker, watching it pass. The feeling that my freedom is about to be stripped away for another few days, but perhaps that's for the best because clearly I don't know how to manage that freedom.
It's a feeling of disappointment.
And whether you work Monday through Friday, or some other combination of days, you've probably had this feeling. Everyone has had their fair share of Sundays.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
The Greatest Deception of All Time
Tell me, what comes after 7: 1 or 8?
What if I told you that 8 comes after 7?
"Duh," I hear you say. "Of course it's 8."
And yet, most of us live our lives seven days at a time, as if after Day 7, the only way to go is back to the beginning. On Day 1, we restart our routines and plan to make changes over the course of the week. By Day 7, we close out our week and make plans for the next seven days. We act as if those 7 days are all we have. If we fail, we must restart from Day 1 all over again.
But why restart when we can just continue? Even if we can't complete the task in seven days, what's stopping us from completing it in eight? Or 14? Or 100?
In physics, there is a concept called relativity of simultaneity, which is the idea that two spatially separated events occurring at the same time is not absolute, but depends on the observer's reference frame. That is, the passage of time is linked to the speed, or time, of the observer. While this concept is applied primarily to events that would occur in different locations in space, the general idea can be applied to individuals as well.
Everyone is on their own clock. Where seven days might be a long time to one person, it might not be so to another. Have you ever felt a day stretch out and feel so long you might die of boredom? Or perhaps, a month zoomed by so fast, you feel like you missed it?
Seconds, hours, days, weeks, months, years - these are all necessary constructs that help our societies run as they should. The clock rules our lives. The clock... not the time.
Perhaps, it's time we separate "The Clock" from "Our Time."
Taking Back Our Time
The clock tells "Time." It's rigid. Absolute. It doesn't change.
Or does it?
What about time zones? The continental U.S. alone has four of them. Two people working 9-5 jobs on different coasts start or end work at the same time, theoretically... yet somehow, they don't.
Daylight Savings Time? In many states in the U.S., we turn our clocks back one hour in the fall and jump it forward in the spring. We are deliberately messing with "time" to be more convenient.
What about when we mess with our own individual clocks? A prank on a sibling, perhaps. Or we make our clock two minutes faster so we trick ourselves into thinking we're late for work. Is the clock really wrong? Or is our perception of time skewed?
It's easy to say that clocks are imperfect devices used to measure Time, which is absolute. Perhaps that's so. But then, why do we, as individual people and societies, mess with these devices to suit our needs... to suit our own Time?
Perhaps, Time is not as absolute as we thought. And perhaps, these tools we use to measure Time can be used in so many different ways, ways we never even thought to consider.
Keeping this in mind, let's do a little word experiment:
The Time Experiment
I am 23 years old.
I am 287 months old.
I am 8,729 days old.
I have lived in my current house for almost 14 years.
I have had a YouTube channel for over 3 years.
I have been writing songs ever since I went to my first summer camp.
I fell in love with music and singing a long time ago.
I always sing in the car.
I began writing my first novel when I was in elementary school.
I never finished that novel.
I will finish that novel one day.
I will succeed.
Do you see what happened? Look at the words carefully.
Years. Months. Days. Current. Ever since. First. Summer. A long time ago. Always. Began. When. Elementary school. Never. Finish. One day. Will.
All of these words we use to describe Our Time.
Go ahead. Write your own down. Write about your own Time.
Then read it back to yourself and think. What words stick out to you? How have you measured your Time?
Is it measured in seconds? Days? Years? Is it measured in nevers, or always? Is it measured in a-long-time-agos, or in todays? In firsts? In lasts? In starts, or in finishes? In seasons? In the have been's, or perhaps the will do's?
How do you measure your life?
Why I Hate Sundays
I hate Sundays because I hate how I measure my life. I hate Sundays because they remind me of how much faster society seems to be moving than I am. They remind me of my resignation to a routine that doesn't match my needs. They reminded me of how slow I feel, how much I procrastinate, and how much I truly despise the way I spend most of my Time.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Sunday doesn't have to be the beginning or the end, Day 1 or Day 7. It doesn't have to be the work week's warm-up, or the weekend's end.
Each and every Sunday is a different day. Every hour is a different hour than the last. Every second. Every month, every season. Every beginning and every end. Every never and every always. They're never the same.
Time is also always changing. It is never the same as it once was.
I hated Sundays because of what they represented.
But next Sunday, I will love it. Because it will be The Next Day, and The Day Before, and The Present, all in one. It could be A Time To Remember. And it could be A Forgotten Day, gone from my memory by the week's end. Whatever it becomes, it will be another step on my journey, with many more steps to follow.
Because I choose to measure my life in stories.