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By Jessica T

How to avoid the Sunday night blues

Uploaded: Mar 23, 2014

On maternity leave, my Sunday nights resembled every other night of the week. With the exception of needing to get my daughter out the door Monday morning (which let's face it, I played nary a part), I could stay up as late as I wanted doing whatever I wanted - often reading, watching Saturday Night Live re-runs, and drinking wine.

Now that I'm back to work, I find I must contend once more with the Sunday night blues. Sunday night signals that the weekend is over, and I am staring down yet another hectic week. Several years ago, one of my friends, an Italian working mom, shared a secret with me. I don't know if it's a European secret or not, but I have my suspicions...

She invited my family to dinner on successive Sunday nights. We'd spend the evening drinking wine (not too much!) and eating simple food - a barley soup or pasta bolognese. We'd get to bed a little later than on a typical school night, but what did that matter when I'd be up at midnight listening to the last Caltrain and again at five when the first train of the morning came through?
Somehow these convivial evenings helped me ignore the stress and routine of what lay ahead. I could face a Monday when I had a Sunday dinner with friends to look forward to.

One recent Sunday evening, we dined at Terun. (If you haven't tried it, put it on your date night agenda. Everything is delicious, the ambiance is warm, and the service impeccable.) The place was packed with Italians. No doubt many of them were also staring down an upcoming work week, but their revelry told a different story. There was joy on California Avenue in Palo Alto that evening as friends shared bottles of Nero d'Avola and plates of antipasti.

I looked at my friend, suspiciously wondering if this was the European key to living life to the fullest - living it up on Sunday nights as an extension of the weekend rather than a meditative preparation for what lay ahead. I recalled that even my French friends often stayed up late on Sunday nights entertaining.

Perhaps this year I can tap into the European way of life just a little more - enjoying the remaining non-working hours with family and friends before heading back to the grind.