The receptionist in the doctor’s office was scheduling me for an appointment in January 2012. When she mentioned a particular date I asked her what day of the week it was. She told me it was a Monday.
“No,” I said, “I don’t make any plans for Mondays.”
She looked perplexed so I explained that all of my life it was the one day of the week I dreaded. I either had to go back to school or go back to work on Monday mornings. Now that I’m retired I don’t schedule anything on Mondays so I can look forward to doing nothing. I even turned down a chance to be in the broadcast booth on Monday Night Football. I told ESPN I would do it if they moved the game to Tuesday. We couldn’t strike a deal.
We had many “snow days” during the school year in Buffalo, NY, when we would turn on the radio early in the morning to listen to the school closing announcements. We would shout for joy when we heard the name of our school. The news of the closing was all the sweeter if it occurred on a Monday. Rather than go back to bed we headed out to earn spending money by shoveling snow from sidewalks and driveways.
Why do we scream TGIF on Fridays? Why do we so look forward to weekends whether we are in school or in the work force? Weekends give us the option to be in charge – to choose what we do – and when we do it – or even decide not to do something. That’s what gets us all hopped up about weekends. Psychologists tell us we are healthier, that is, we feel better when we are autonomous.
Mondays can take away our ability to be spontaneous. When working in the real world it was amazing how much I associated Mondays with crises. It seemed Monday was the day calamity came with coffee in the morning. I learned that running a sales office was much like running an adult day care center. Invariably one or two of the office personnel called in sick on Mondays. Equipment seemed to suffer Monday blues, too, as frantic calls came in from customers who needed emergency repairs or “loaners” to get them through the day.
Psychologists suggest ways to prevent the dreaded Monday syndrome by planning something to look forward to. They suggest having lunch with a friend or scheduling something pleasant to do; or setting your own priorities by putting off answering emails and phone calls. Had I done that while in the work force, the next schedule I would need to make would be an appointment at the unemployment office. Or imagine telling Sister Mary Rambo you put off doing your homework because you arranged something more pleasant in that time slot, such as researching whether or not black patent leather shoes really do shine up. Your knuckles would look worse than Yogi Berra’s after catching more than two thousand games. It is that very loss of autonomy while working or going to school that prevents us from being in charge of our lives.
That is why after a school/work career of more than sixty years I am taking advantage of my ability to turn Mondays into Saturdays, or any other day of the week. Now Mondays are a blessing, another boundary eliminated. I have more spontaneity. My life is a continuous series of events that blend gradually and seamlessly.
Now I’ll get to work on those rainy days.