I like Mondays.
I know—not going to get me invited to the cool kids’ table any time soon. “Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day,” tell us how you really feel Mama Cass. Monday just needs a fair shake. Agreed, Sunday is a tough act to follow. Especially if it’s been a sun-fueled, backyard grill, trail your feet in the cool, green grass kind of day. Or even if Monday comes hauling into view after a lazy 24 spent cocooned in blankets, drinking coffee, reading and whatever-ing. Not an enviable place to be, Monday. Why you gotta be such a buzzkill, you might say. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
But somebody’s got to be the R.A. of the week. Somebody has to call the cops, to confiscate the open containers, to flick on the lights and bellow for last call. It’s not a drag, it’s a gift.
Monday is nothing if not a B-12 shot of sobriety—back to the groove, back to the grind, set the alarm, make lunches, make the train (barely), make an effort. Monday can be a pressure cooker just to get your head back in the game. It’s one of those training courses at boot camp that has you inching under barbed wire, hurling yourself against a climbing wall, weaving in and out of old tires. I get it. I’ve been there and begged my fellow trainees to leave me in the mud where I’ve fallen. “Check back with me on Wednesday, okay? Tell the world my story!”
I was always game to trash Monday along with everyone else (you’re no Thursday, poodle) until I noticed something odd happening on Mondays. I put my shoes away. I agree, it’s not exactly the Oprah-worthy “Ah-ha! Enlightenment achieved” moment. At some point I noticed that every Monday I put in a lot more effort around my general surroundings than, say, Friday (Oh Friday, the bad news boyfriend who never fails to show up at just the right moment and say all the right things that make you forget why you swore him off to begin with).
On Monday laundry gets done AND folded AND put away. Shoes behave in their neat, organizationally anal retentive cubbies. Dishwasher emptied; kitchen tidied; mail sorted (actually sorted, not just opened and tossed back on the table); plants watered—I even find myself rising rather quickly and easily on Monday mornings to go exercise at the gym. By Friday I have talked myself in and out of lazing longer in bed, have decided that I can make it another 10 more miles without bothering to get gas, have barely noted the shoes spilled throughout the house like some kind of footwear treasure dredged up by a fisherman’s net. It was almost as if instead of giving Monday the one-digit salute, I felt compelled to rise to its challenge.
I think Monday is the beginning of a Rocky montage—all thumping bass, catchy lyrics, and 100% raw determination. As I said, by Friday you’re more likely cycling through a montage out of a John Cusack movie, wandering around in the pouring rain, gazing forlornly at someone’s second floor window. But Monday. Girl, Monday wants you to win! It’s a fresh stretch of runway. It’s a calendar flip to January 1, every six days! Monday is a new chance, a blank check of possibilities.
Every day we are privileged to open our eyes and draw breath we start again with the chance to do better—whatever that looks like. It could be choosing the yogurt over the doughnut, sending the email, forgiving yourself, taking the long way around, quitting the job, taking out the recycling un-nagged, holding your tongue, going to see about a girl.
I’ve always liked the notion of wiping the slate clean every 24-hours and each day, before I open my eyes, I send out the closest thing I have to a prayer: “Thank you for this day and the chance to begin again.” If someone’s listening, I want my human pleas entered into the record just like everyone else. Monday, I realized, is your first opportunity to hold intention and space for something you need; it’s an invitation to set the tone for the next 24, 48, 36. It’s hard to start. The first cut is the deepest, preach Cat Stevens, and the first step is the most precarious. Monday gives you a free pass. Let’s try this one more time, shall we? She says. After all, it’s much easier to move with the current than against it.
I didn’t expect to like Monday; I’m not a glass half-full person. I’m more of a “what’s in your glass? What if we poured some of what you’re having into my glass?” Yet there I am each Monday, swinging like the championship depends on it, grateful just to be up at bat.
You can try to outrun Monday or you can make every day your Monday. Your move. Your call. Your chance. She’s waiting.