Sundays are sad. Even Easter Sunday.
Why? I don't know. I've always felt this way. And I know I'm not alone.
When in high school, Sunday represented the last day of freedom (and by freedom, I mean reading and writing papers and studying) before another week of classes and tests and soccer games and jazz concerts and SAT prep. When at Yale, Sundays were often depressing and disorienting, begun in that collective hangover haze that enveloped us all as we contemplated the week ahead. At law school, it was the same thing. Sundays came right before Mondays. And Mondays meant business. Classes. The Socratic Method. Time to think about that looming final. That career. That future. And during my short stint at the law firm, Sundays were not quite as sacred but equally dismal for depending on the partner or the case, we were expected to work on a Sunday. ("This is a 24/7 job," we were told on day one).
But these days I am home with my girls. Doing the gloriously flexible writing thing. So why are Sundays still sad? If I really wanted to, I could be just as lazy tomorrow as I am being today (and, no, I am not being lazy today because apparently I have forgotten how to relax). So, who knows. Maybe this is just a fact of life, or of my life at the very least. My husband, ever the optimist, has never had much of a problem with Sundays. There are plenty of people strolling the sidewalks outside, checking out the "functioning vintage toasters" at the flea market or wrestling with their slobbering Goldens or sipping their Starbucks who don't seem to have a care in the world.
This morning, my little girls participated in a wonderful Easter egg hunt in my Mom's brownstone garden. My toddler was all smiles as she collected hard boiled eggs (including the Obama "Yes we can" egg that my sister made) and chocolates in her little pink basket. She flashed that devilish grin as she decimated a Cadbury Cream Egg before eating breakfast. She watched cartoons with her cousins, the three of them lined up on Mom's couch, matching sugar comas and chocolate mustaches, watching Dora bound through a colorful forest. And when I placed her baby sister next to her, she complained, but let her stay. And I took picture after picture of the four of them there, four Donnelley girls of the next generation, happiness plain in sugar-glazed eyes. And this made me happy. And we all laughed when my toddler told her sister "Do not take my hair!"
So, yes, there have been happy moments. Really happy moments. Even magical ones. But I am still kind of sad. And not Hallmark sad. Nietzsche sad. Maybe I am extra sad today because today is in many ways a kids' holiday and I am no longer a kid. Maybe I am extra sad because I miss Dad, my Easter Bunny, who was still with us, though suffering, last year at this time. Maybe I am just sad out of habit.It seems I should figure this one out though. Because I have a more than a few Sundays ahead of me.
Maybe, just maybe, it's just a matter of embracing that thing called optimism. Maybe it's just a matter of thinking of my babies' bright blue eyes and the joy of pre-breakfast chocolate and our promising new President and that little orange egg my daughter found in Mom's garden.
Are any of you out there sad today too? Can we put Sad Sundays behind us?
Yes we can.
(I'll check back with you next Sunday, but I doubt it's quite that simple. So much for the optimism thing.)