After 40 years on earth, I’ve finally figured it out…
All my life, weekends would fly by. I’d leave work on Friday evening, flop down on the sofa, blink and find myself getting dressed for work on Monday morning. Maybe we made pizza, maybe we went to a park — who even knew? Was life just passing us by?!
But then. Last year, my friend Gisela invited me to a movie on Sunday evening. I found myself looking forward to it all day, then rode my bike to Alamo Drafthouse; she’d already ordered popcorn and we sat back to see Three Identical Strangers.
And that Monday morning, I noticed something. My weekend had lasted forever.
We did it again another weekend and saw Free Solo. Another Sunday, we saw Call Me by Your Name. And it changed everything. I realized: No matter what else I do all weekend, the anticipation of a Sunday night hang — and the afterglow — stretches out each day and takes away the Sunday scaries. Instead of anticipating work, your mind is busy gearing up for an evening adventure.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a movie — anything works, as long as you end your weekend with a bang. Alex will tackle a recipe he doesn’t usually have time for on a weeknight, like pasta carbonara, or delight the boys with breakfast for dinner. If the weather is promising, I’ll make a phone date with my twin sister in California and catch up with her on an evening walk, which feels so special on a spring night in Brooklyn. One weekend, we took the boys for Ethiopian food (you can eat with your hands!), and another we even drove out to Coney Island to walk on the boardwalk while the sun set.
It’s crazy what a difference a good Sunday night makes.
Plus, I feel so much better about Monday when I’ve squeezed the fun out of Sunday. The end-on-a-high-note strategy is actually backed by science. “The human brain gives outsized consideration to things that happened last in a series,” reports Fast Company. It’s called “recency bias” — and it works for vacations, too. The Wall Street Journal suggests leaning into the last day of a trip. “If you’re only going to upgrade once, splurge on the business class seat on the way home, not the way there. Plan your big dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant for your final night, not your first.”
My movie buddy, Gisela.
This Sunday, I think I’ll see Amazing Grace. What about you?
(Top photo by Nikole Herriott.)