As we were driving back from being up north this weekend I hear my sister say, “I do NOT want to go back to work tomorrow.” It’s only 1:30 pm on Sunday afternoon. The dreaded start of the week had already made it’s way into her Sunday to completely ruin it. I remember how that was. Just a year and a half ago I was in her shoes. The minute I woke up on Sunday morning I could feel that anxiety take over me. I hated Sundays.
Sundays meant that I had to go back to a job that formed a knot in my stomach Monday through Friday. Five days of my week were consumed with long hours, little sleep, and no joy. I lived for the weekends. So much so that I started planning them on Monday just so I could have something to look forward to-something to get me through the week. It was no way to spend two years of my life. And I realized that. But I had a lease that I was obligated to carry out, bills to pay, student loan payments to make, and quitting my terrible job wasn’t an option at that very moment. So I stuck it out, like a lot of us do.
In my free time, I explored other options for my future. Grad school, traveling, extra certifications, moving, etc. I looked at every possible option I knew I could take. I imagined the day I could give my two weeks notice. I started planning things to do during the week that I could look forward to and that would bring joy into my life. I focused on the aspects of my job that I did enjoy, and put my effort into them. I did some serious soul-searching during that time to figure out what it really was that I wanted to do next. I made my choice, waited until the end of my lease on my apartment, gave my two weeks notice, and left that job without ever looking back.
In those two years I realized that working had consumed my life and I let it steal away a lot my happiness. I knew there was no way for me to quit that job immediately, as much as I wanted to, because I had financial obligations that I was responsible for. But, I had to try to make the most of that situation, even if it took everything in me. I wasn’t being fair to myself by letting a job take over my life. I decided to live for the week, instead of the weekend, and I planned dinners with my sister for the middle of the week, went to movies, tried out new recipes, read hilarious books, went on evening runs, and researched cities for my next trip. I tried my hardest to do anything I could to help keep my spirits up, my mood positive, and my energy on making steps towards better days.
If you find yourself in this situation, know that you aren’t alone. But also know that you can change it. You can make it better. It might seem impossible at the moment. You might not be able to make the change right away; but you have options and you always have a choice. Make the decision to not only live for the weekends, but also for the other five days of the week. We only get one life, and spending the majority of those days in a job we can’t stand just isn’t worth it. Figure out what brings you joy and do more of it. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
Have a wonderful week!