It’s true, I’m among the horde of cruel people who put the onus for all our Monday growling and grumpiness and grunge on the day itself. Many of us see Monday as the End of All Things Fun, coming as it does on the heels of any sort of weekend respite or recreation we might have enjoyed. I’ve long had that nasty habit of looking in the mirror on a Monday and seeing monstrous presence there, only thinly veiled by the black cloud of my ill-humor.I think perhaps it’s time to take a little responsibility for the ogrish attitudes myself and reclaim Monday as the Beginning of something fresh and new–by making it that, if need be, by force. The end of one thing is almost inevitably the beginning of another, and if the follower isn’t to my liking, then who’s to change that but me? Isn’t it just possible that in the open spaces between my crotchety complaints and snarky remarks, there could be room for the tiny wedge of reinvention to be driven in for a start? I think I should see what I can accomplish in this. No need to keep glowering at a meanie in the mirror morosely.One of the first things, I suppose, is to make sure that my Mondays hold something that I look forward to eagerly, something to start my week with a measure of pleasure. So I am taking that step in a small way already: Monday is my day for planning and for clearing the decks. As an inveterate list-maker and lister-of-lists, it’s my day to ‘walk the fences’–and since my Spread (no, dears, my Texas ranch, not my posterior measurements) consists of a house on a typical city-sized lot, it’s not too hard to accomplish that part, at least in temporal terms. But I must do so with eyes wide open for details that need attention so that I know of all the things that require mending, tending or improving. Those light switches that are going to be replaced. (The replacements have already been bought–check!–so it remains only to install them: Note!) The wood handles on the washtub need a preservative oiling. The seed starters are lined up as kits in the garage work area but need to be assembled now. And with the Must Do list is the ever-mutant list of how-abouts: would the window coverings in the reading/TV room be better insulation and easier to open and close if I redo them? Can I put a more comfortable seating angle on that chair by shimming the front legs? Do I have all of the supplies from my shopping list for finishing that little art project? Is the grocery list for Tuesday complete?
There is a surprising amount of satisfaction in not just being able to cross little things off those perpetual lists as Finished but being able, as well, to refine the remaining items so that they are more clear and purposeful and prioritized, and give shape to the rest of a busy week for me. It’s just the way I operate. It also makes me feel a little freer and lighter about what pleasurable things I can do while accomplishing my list-work, how I can distribute things in the short and long term, and when I can break up the flow of Projects with Fun–this latter being an essential thing and not, then, needing to feel like a disruption of the flow but rather a welcome island in the stream. Me, I like a wildly numerous and exotic archipelago of what others might admittedly think purposeless delights in my life’s flow.
So I am on a campaign of making Mondays a favorite day for me by turning my old attitude on its ear. I always had a fondness for forcing a change in point of view by whatever literalistic or foolish means necessary, after all: if I can’t see my artwork with enough objectivity to make intelligent editorial decisions about it, I need to shift how I look at it in order to adjust how I see it. Stand on my head. Come into a dark room and turn on the light on it suddenly. Imagine I’m a six- or ninety-six-year-old looking at it and how I’d describe it.
In the case of Mondays, I’m guessing many a 96-year-old with healthy feelings toward life would simply be delighted at being alive for another one. And six is an age when everything is still new every day, and electric with possibility. Why shouldn’t I adopt both of those attitudes?
For now, I intend to arrange at least one additional Fun Thing to be included in my Mondays on a regular basis, but perhaps a different kind of fun each time, so that I can’t get jaded and lackadaisical about it. Certainly it should have elements of silliness included, because that’s something that never does grow old with me, and perhaps is part of the reason I expect I shan’t grow old myself any too soon. Looking out my window, I see that the bare-branched trees of winter are suddenly covered with black lace, that the intermittent wind gusts have kicked up a ballet of curlicued oak leaves in the corner of the patio, and that the cardinals stopping by for a nibble of grain have somehow taken on a much deeper and brighter hue of red. Is it a change of seasons coming on? Perhaps it’s just that I’m letting the seasons change within me.