I’ve been exploring lately my ‘feelings’ around Monday’s.
This feeling started when I was in grade school. It appeared that every single Monday I made some kind of excuse as to why I couldn’t go to school. I prepped the night before. Thinking of clever ways to get out of going.
At first my mom bought into my excuses – all of course being that I wasn’t feeling well. No other excuse would do. After all I was a kid, it’s not like I could make up another excuse; ” Yo mom I need to take the car in to get fixed.” Or; “I have an appointment.” I mean where am I going to go, I was 7?
It never dawned on me that by repeating this exercise every single Monday that she’d eventually catch on.
I was kinda hoping she’d at least help me figure out why it was that I dreaded going to school on Monday’s. Maybe she did, and nothing really stuck with me. Now that I think of it, I do remember lots of family counselling sessions.
My mom was an artist, she was incredibly progressive in her thinking – she really believed in family therapy. I think however that the therapy was more for her than it was for any of us.
My dad was always on the scene, and yet he’d be long gone to his office before my Monday performance got underway, so he never saw the agony I was going through.
What happened was that I’d wait until the very last minute, with puppy dog eyes, to hear whether or not I could stay home. Sometimes, my mom would cave if she detected a slight fever. I actually think all kids had slight fevers at that age – who knows.
All I remember is that I was THRILLED when she would give me the green light to stay home, “Cartoons here I come!”
And then it happened …
I’d stay home and be miserable because I felt I was missing out on something. “Oh man, what gives?” I thought. So I realized that this ‘crappy Monday blues’ feeling really started on Sunday nights, and ended mid Monday mornings.
Oddly enough, after all of these years, that feeling has never really left me. The only time I don’t feel those ‘Monday/Sunday blues’ is when I’m on vacation.
Then it dawned on me …
One of my strengths (apparently it’s a strength) is my sense of play and fun. Sunday evenings equated to; ‘play and fun are over, and now I have to go into another mode.’ Why? I thought. That’s ridiculous. Why couldn’t my sense of play and enthusiasm spill over to my professional life, or at that time my school life. Could it be because I was told to sit a lot. Stay in one place. Do this. Do that. Lots of rules that didn’t make any sense to me?
Think about it. Even in today’s world many people feel uncomfortable if you choose to stand rather than sit. How often do you hear; “Have a seat.” You reply; “No, thank you, I’m comfortable standing.” And then throughout the meeting you are constantly offered a seat. In my mind all I can hear was James Cagney’s (actor) saying in his gangster voice; “Sit down kid you’re making me nervous.”
Having read quite a bit on the subject about Monday blues it’s suggested that it helps to plan something on Sunday evenings; an activity, an evening out, an event, a gathering, etc. so that the transition from Sunday to Monday doesn’t seem so daunting.
Well, that thinking tanked when this pandemic came in like a storm. In fact, for the first many (many) months of this pandemic it felt like every day was Monday.
That’s really because I was feeling sorry for myself. I’m over it. However I haven’t quite kicked the Monday blue’s feeling. After all it’s been like a wet blanket to me my entire life.
Recognizing this now, I completely get why I went into the field of behavioural science and well-being. You see, even then one doesn’t have it all figured out. It sure does help with identifying the feelings, and then practicing a bunch of techniques to break out of the patterns and learned behaviours – but it’s not easy. The mind messes with ya.
There is however always a light at the end of the tunnel (thankfully) having realized that there are things that I now do that help.
For one; writing – getting it down on paper takes it from being subjective to objective, so I’m better able to see this from a different perspective. It makes a positive difference.
So, you’re not alone if you struggle with the Monday blues. In fact, if you do then I welcome you to join me as I’m putting together focused small groups that help to motivate, inspire and engage in a way that has us all actually enjoying every day of the week.
Monday, schmunday. We’ve got this!