I’m writing this on a Sunday evening, and something feels off. It’s like I’m missing something, but I can’t quite remember what I misplaced.
And then it hits me: I no longer have the creeping feeling of dread I used to get every Sunday evening.
You know what I’m talking about — it’s that pit in your stomach and the countdown in the back of your mind, ticking away your last few hours of freedom until the workweek starts again. I got so used to feeling a growing sense of dread on Sundays that it actually feels strange for it to be gone.
I used to try to combat it by doing things I loved on Sunday afternoons, whether it was going to a winery with friends or reading a novel by the pool. But that only made the upcoming week even more miserable in comparison. I could never shake the Sunday Evening Dread (at least while I was working in an office job), and so it became a standard part of my week.
I mentioned the Sunday Evening Dread at a presentation I gave a few months ago, and one woman spoke up and said, “I used to dread the upcoming workweek so much that one Sunday night in the shower, I tried to calculate how much time I could get off work if I slipped in the water and broke my leg.”
Seriously, people, we are NOT supposed to live like this!
If you feel a pang of dread on Sundays in anticipation of the week ahead, that’s a major red flag that something needs to change. And that’s okay — most of us have been there at some point or another, and discovering what you DON’T want can be just as important to your journey as figuring out what you’re passionate about. But you don’t have to get stuck there.
The first step toward getting unstuck is figuring out what your definition of freedom is, because it’s different for every person.
I was at an event recently, and when I asked this guy what his job was, he gave me the absolute best answer I’ve ever heard:
“I don’t believe in careers.”
(You better believe I’m stealing that phrase from now on.)
When he said that, I instantly knew: that’s my definition of freedom.
My career is not a separate category of my life. I believe in living my life, being myself, and building financial stability doing things I love that make a difference in the world. And that’s it. There’s no set job title that encompasses who I show up as on a daily basis, and I love it that way.
Everyone has their own definition of freedom, and as a coach, my whole job is to help people redefine what kind of life they want to lead … in essence, what it would mean for them to live free. For some people, that means starting up a side hustle and working toward self-employment. For others, freedom means having a flexible work schedule and working with an awesome team. Some people want location independence or a deep sense of fulfillment or just a salary that lets them happily pursue their hobbies outside of the office.
If your current job feels more like a prison than a path to freedom … well, just trust that you’re not alone. It may be time for you to redefine what it means for you to live free.
Have you ever felt that creeping Sunday evening dread? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Kristen (& Rachel)