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Monday 28 January 2019

Blue Sunday?

I’ve always suffered from Sunday Blues. Even as a child, I remember feeling this little nugget of anxiety on Sundays, coupled with a demented compulsion to try and enjoy myself, to make the last moments of the weekend count. (As anyone who’s ever felt anxious will probably agree, trying to force yourself to have a great time while simultaneously feeling anxious only makes things worse. Why am I still anxious? I’m wasting the day feeling anxious! Why can’t I just stop it? What’s wrong with me?)

I distinctly remember listening to the Top 40 countdown on Radio 1 (tape recorder at the ready for my latest mix tape) and feeling so shitty that the weekend was almost over and anxious about going back to school the next day. Even though I mostly enjoyed school and was one of those annoying good-at-everything nerds (except PE – PE was my own personal torture).

Eventually, I grew up to become a taller, more sweary nerd with a 9–5 job. But still, Sundays would bring the usual mix of over-the-top jollity (‘Let’s do something brilliant today! Let’s Make Sunday Count!!’) and low-level, background dread of Monday. Even though I mostly enjoyed my work. Even though I worked with lovely publishing types. Even though I knew, logically, that Monday would pass by in its usual benign way. I didn’t know what was wrong with me – or if I was the only one who ever felt like that. I just knew it annoyed the hell out of me.

So here’s the big question: do I still get Sunday blues in Bulgaria?

Well, I’m writing this on a quiet Sunday morning. The fire’s blasting, the cats are all asleep on various soft surfaces, Radio 2 is crooning at me (how I miss the days of making mix tapes!), and I can smell the delicious butternut squash and sage lasagne that’s baking in the oven. There’s half a homemade banoffee pie in the fridge, too. I repeat: banoffee pie.

Outside, everything is sparkling white and clean (it snowed quite a bit on Friday). Fat blobs of snow weigh down the huge pine trees on the other side of the river. The sky is postcard blue.

We’ve got nowhere to be: today, tomorrow, this week.

Sure, we’ve got work and a long list of chores ahead. I’m copywriting for a client this week. Rob is laying tiling in the pantry. With four cats and a snowy garden, there’s constant cleaning to do. Big outdoor projects are piling up for the spring and summer. Bills need paying. And God knows what Brexit will mean for us.

But we have no mortgage to pay. No car payments or other debt (I find owning a 22-year-old rust bucket far preferable to having a newer car with monthly payments). No demands on our time beyond those we set for ourselves. Nowhere to be…

The question is, do I still get Sunday blues?

Honestly? I do a tiny bit, yeah. By this point, I think it’s like sneezing: just a biological reaction that I have no control over. But it’s SO MUCH better than when we were in the UK. If my personality and emotions were broken down into a list, like ingredients on a food packet, Sunday blues would be a trace element.

Right now, my ingredients label would say:

  • Cat crushes: 20%
  • Food thoughts: 20%
  • Anal organisational tendencies: 15%
  • Gratitude/smugness for life in BG: 15%
  • Impatience: 14%
  • Brexit rage: 10%
  • Tutting: 5%
  • Love and gooey stuff: 1%
  • Sunday blues: trace

Considering my lifelong penchant for neuroses, I think that’s pretty good.

What about you? Do you still get irrational Sunday blues, even though you haven’t had a Monday morning maths test (or, shudder, double PE) for around 30 years? And what would your personality food label say? Come on, spill.

When you're this cool, every day is Friday.