Sundays Unlimited

I feel like I’ve been through more Sundays in just one week than can normally fit into a decade. Has the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day always been like this? It seemed much more pronounced this year, at least to me…one Sunday just melting into the next, into the next, into…

And this year we had another ‘Sunday’ thrown in at the end—another extra Monday holiday, so that no one felt cheated with Christmas and New Year’s having been on real Sundays this year. To make sure everyone got that point, the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA, always held on New Year’s Day, was held this year on the day after–January 2nd. Is that weird or what?

Lots of people seemed to have been caught up in the same incessant Sunday lull–and here I thought most people had to go back to work, or at least the ones with real jobs–jobs that are unlike mine, which mostly doesn’t seem like a job at all.

One day during these perpetual Sundays, I decided to go to the movies in the middle of the afternoon, and guess what–so did everyone else, and worse, they all got there before me. The only seats left in the theater were in the front row or on the lap of some guy seated in the dead center of the accumulated masses. Neither prospect was appealing. I left and got my money back. This was at 2:45 in the afternoon on a day that would normally be known as Wednesday. Who were all these people that were free to fill up a movie theater in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon, and who was left running the world?

On Thursday I had lunch with a friend who normally spends his weekdays in corporate incarceration, but was off that day like everyone else caught up in the endless Sunday syndrome. We met at noon at a restaurant that remained busy and full throughout the afternoon–we had a long lunch. Was anybody working anywhere? Oh yes, the people who belonged to the restaurant were working so that the rest of us could continue with the Sunday illusion.

There were a few other people working during this week too. All of the retail work force was still full speed ahead, even after the arrival of Christmas Day that brought them no relief or needed time off, but just another flood of consumers bent on maxing out their credit cards. I know this because I went to the mall and the lines at the checkouts looked like the lines to buy tickets for Elvis’s Reincarnation Tour. And I bet a number of those people in those lines normally work at CNN.

We who live in Atlanta, home of CNN, notice what CNN and its employees are doing. When I saw the same reports re-run on CNN for what felt like the proverbial eternity, although I suspect it was only a week in real time, I assumed CNN had given their production crews many of these unending Sundays off so they could stand in line at the malls along with the rest of the non-working population.

But now the real question is, how do we get out of this mess? It has been over a week that we have been shiftless and slothful. Our Puritan forbearers would be appalled. How to return to purpose and productivity?

You know how hard it is to adjust in the week following just one of those Monday holidays, so how will we ever manage after two of those, plus all of the ceaseless ‘Sundays’ on top of them?

Tomorrow, theoretically Tuesday, will seem like Monday. No surprise there. But what worries me is that if we’ve just been through Sundays unlimited, don’t we have to pay with the same treatment of Mondays? Surely, this cannot be good news, but, as I don’t need to remind you, nothing is for free. We’ve always known that. I’m glad that I’ve at least thought of this unfortunate fact one day in advance so that I have some time to prepare myself for the trauma that our lapse into laziness is about to cost us.

Those Puritans knew the price too and they chose not to pay it. So they just kept on working and never took a time out–on Sundays or otherwise. I guess that’s why they’re not around anymore.

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