Most people dread the arrival of Monday morning. Back to work, back to stress, busy schedules and to-do lists. The brief retreat over the weekend only serves to amplify the heaviness when the work week returns.
How sad is that? Fifty-two days a year are filled with these emotions. For what? Why?
Yesterday our pastor started a series called Taking Back Monday, about retrieving the good where we’ve settled in with the bad. It’s about greeting people with love instead of avoiding them. It’s about enjoying life instead of dreading it. It’s not an easy feat for many individuals and that is a very sad truth.
If you can’t choose to be happy to go to work Monday morning, if you can’t blossom where you’ve been put because it’s just that horrible, then maybe it’s time you find somewhere new. This is your life and these are your moments, spend them happily and wisely. Some of us, like stay at home parents, caregivers, and students, can’t change our job. We are in a place in our life that we must choose happiness. Complaining won’t change anything, it will only emphasize our dislikes making them larger. Find a way to magnify the positives in your life. If you hate waking up early, tell yourself you’re lucky to get to wake up when some don’t. If your kids aren’t listening and you’re not getting anything done, tell yourself some people can’t have children and they are your blessing. It’s the truth! You are blessed even if you can’t see it right now.
Not to trivialize your suffering, but let’s be honest here; you’re not truly suffering if you have a job and a roof over your head, food in your belly and people in your life. You’re bored where you’re at, you don’t get along with that person, you despise your commute, you are tired– reality is your lucky to have a job, your blessed to have a car at all and sleep can be improved. Take responsibility for the things you can change and either change them or embrace your life where and as it is, for your own good.
I have spoken briefly on my current struggle with postpartum anxiety and depression. Writing this post I’m not immune to life’s struggles or its stressful Monday’s. Monday means my husband goes back to work, meaning less hands to care for two needy kids. It means no breaks and no support. My Mondays bring their own set of obstacles that test my perseverance even though I don’t hold a ‘typical’ job. Even for the unemployed Monday’s may be a repeating reminder of their lack of a job, providing a different reason for dreading the week. We all have our journey to walk and we make that journey easier when we walk it in faith and joy.
The challenge I’ve accepted (and I think everyone would benefit from accepting) is to take back your Monday and make it yours. Dont give it up. Don’t turn on the auto pilot when Monday hits, instead engage those around you and bring light to this world.
What this means for me is being a better, happier person for my kids to be around. I’m forcing myself to relax, and that’s really, really difficult for me. My goal is to not yell, which is always my goal but I tend to fail when I get anxious or overwhelmed. My other goal is to be more present as a compassionate guide for my toddler who is going through some rough stuff. My hope is to ease his stress by being a light in his life; even when my day is filled with obligations and stressors. I will see things as blessings rather than curses. I will acknowledge my anxiety but not let it take hold of the day.
This is my only life and I intend on living it right, with purpose and joyfulness. The alternative is to sad and wasteful. Think of how much of your life is spent at work, nearly half. Half of your life is being spent grumpy, stressed…wasted. Pay your bills but don’t let your life be the collateral. Choose to enjoy where you’re at, to bloom where you’re planted. Who knows, maybe doing so will bring more opportunity into your life.