I used to despise Sunday nights because of Monday morning. I was filled with dread before I even lay my head down for the night. I got out of bed on Mondays looking forward to when I could go back to sleep.
I could not control the existence of Monday. It was going to happen. Again and again and again. In fact, Mondays will take up a little than 14% of my life. I had to figure something out.
Looking forward to Friday was not working. Wishing away my days was not effective or healthy. Being in Monday and wishing it were Friday only made me sadder. And I lost sight of what was happening in front of me. I was somewhere other than now, and that was not good for anyone.
Just getting through, a tactic used by many, was not working either. I found myself complacent in my grumpiness, almost excusing my bad attitude and sluggishness. It’s Monday, whatever, I can’t help it. This was contagious. I was infecting all the people around me.
I tried to just pretend to be okay with Monday. But I’m not such a great actress. And while that might have made the people around me feel a little better, it did absolutely nothing for me. I still felt horrible. But I was smiling.
Now, I am doing something different. Part of my therapy for OCD was mindfulness training, which included living my values and living in the present. I breathe deeply and methodically, making myself keenly aware of my own thoughts and surroundings. I try hard to focus on this moment, literally, and only this moment. And I try to appreciate it for what it is, nothing more, nothing less. I remind myself of my values, which give me purpose and clarity.
Using mindfulness techniques has helped so much with living with OCD, I thought I would try it on living with Mondays. So as the new week begins, instead of allowing myself to be negative as a default, I am intentionally aware of my values and live them out. I approach the new day with enthusiasm and excitement, with energy and expectation. I try to be mindful of reasons to smile so that when I do, it is genuine.
This does not mean I am happy-go-lucky and in a perpetual slap-happy good mood. Sometimes I get angry or tired on Monday. Sometimes I am stressed to the point of being overwhelmed. And usually I am completely exhausted when I get home from work.
But it’s different now. I have given myself permission to be in a good mood, to enjoy the day, and to not dread its arrival or look forward to its departure. I have given myself permission to love Mondays, because it is more than 14% of my life. That it too much life to not enjoy. I want to be present, deliberate, and alive for all of my life. I do not want to spend my days wishing them away. Because one day I will run out, and I will long for the more Mondays.
Of course, I must admit that I have it easier than most people to find reason to be cheerful on Mondays. I spend my days with interesting, intelligent, kind teenagers who make me smile. I get to talk about great writing and literature. I get to learn philosophy with my kids and practice speaking skills. I get to discover new ways of understanding the world and watch students gain new understanding, too.
Mondays get better as soon as my students show up. When I am at work, my students are who I value most, and they are who give me the greatest joy in my classroom.
I have 115 reasons to look forward to Monday.
Welcome to my Blog! I am a wife, mother of three, high school English teacher, and a graduate of the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. Before anything else, I am a woman of faith.