Poor Monday. It must be hard to be the least popular day of the week. Friday gets all the love, with Saturday and Sunday running close behind. And I’ll admit to a personal fondness for Thursday, which is just close enough to Friday to catch some of its rosy glow. But Monday — well, you never hear anyone sigh with satisfaction and say, “Isn’t it great that it’s Monday?”
Now that summer vacation is over and I’m back in the classroom, Monday is feeling a lot like Monday again. And the added bummer is that Sunday evening now feels like, well, Sunday evening, that depressing time when you have to wrench yourself out of Play Mode and start packing the briefcase. How is it that Monday’s ickiness manages to seep backwards in time, tainting the last few hours of the weekend?
Maybe I’m giving the Monday icks too much power. Is it really as bad as all that? Truth is, as much as I hate setting the alarm to get up at dark o’clock, I actually do like my job. That’s probably true for all of us, on some level. Every job has to have something redeeming about it: the fun coworker, or the fact that it is never boring (that’s certainly true of teaching!), or the fact that it is blessedly quiet and predictable. Or maybe there is a beautiful view out of your office window, or a really good coffee place nearby where you go on your lunch hour. Or maybe the people you have to deal with day in and day out drive you crazy, but you realize that those encounters are a chance to cultivate patience and sacrifice. (If you’re like me, you only realize that well after the fact, like during prayer time — which is precisely why prayer is so crucial to my emotional well-being.) But there has to be something there that is positive.
I could actually list lots of great things about my teaching job, but I’ll just share one here. It’s something I first noticed about a year or two ago on my commute. Not far from the exit where I get off the freeway, there is a wire fence going over a field where horses graze. And one morning as I was driving along, tired and crabby and running entirely on coffee and grim determination, I happened to glance over and I caught sight of a hawk sitting on the fence. It was perched there immobile with folded wings, like a gargoyle on a cathedral, surveying the landscape. It was so unexpected and beautiful that I snapped awake inside, wondering if it had ever been there before, and if I’d just plain missed it. And it made the morning better.
I always look for that hawk now on my way to work. Often the fence is empty. But from time to time the bird is there, perched with quiet calm dignity, reminding me to find my own still center of gratitude … even on Monday.
What works for you? How do you manage to combat the Monday icks? And if you work outside the home, what’s one great thing about your job that makes even Monday more palatable?