When I was a kid, I used to hate Mondays. I used to hate having to get up early in the morning, get dressed, and walk to school. My teeth were often clattering as I got dressed—I was always cold even if it wasn’t necessarily cold in the house. I felt weak and watery and would have rather done anything else than leave the house. I used to count the days left until the summer break when Mondays suddenly lost the oppressive power they held during the rest of the year.
Through my childhood and up until adolescence, I dreaded Mondays, their inexorable arrival, that empty feeling of having to wake up early and go to a place you don’t want to go to, the dusty, loud, communal atmosphere in the classroom, which was so different from the protective quiet at home. It wasn’t that school was all that bad, but the idea of having to get up and go every morning, and to do it early, really haunted me.
I believe life’s not worth living if you hate your Mondays. Because there are so many Mondays in your life, and they always come after the weekend. What’s the point of resting on Sunday if you’re going to begin a new week cycle that requires you to rest again the following Sunday? A cycle that invariably starts on Monday?
There are many drawbacks to dropping out of school like I did, but there are also benefits. And one of them is that you can design your own Mondays.
Put another way, why make Monday a compromise that you need in order to enjoy the weekend? Why not make Monday an end in itself, and fill it with things you want to do?
My Mondays tend to be quite alike:
- I wake up without an alarm clock when my body feels it needs to get up, which is almost always between 8:00-8:45. I would be up earlier, but I tend to stay up past midnight, my favorite hour.
- After the regular toothbrush and bathroom routine, I do some exercises for about 40 minutes or so.
- I drink a glass of water.
- I do not check my phone or even look at it—it remains untouched on the nighstand until later in the day.
- I sit down or stand up (because sitting down for too long is not healthy) and write for two hours or so. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes less, it depends on what story I’m working on. Either way, I don’t use the computer. I have an AlphaSmart, a kind of portable, analog typewriter, or else write by hand. I like my mornings to be screenless.
- I eat brunch standing up while listening to an audiobook or radio program and then drink a cup of tea.
- I meditate for 10-15 minutes or so and read for about 1 hour.
- Depending on the weather and time of year, I may take a quick bicycle ride or walk around the neighborhood. Otherwise, I just see to the day’s work. By then it’s well past noon.
- I work until the evening with constant breaks for healthy snacks and/or smoothies or to stretch my legs in the garden. Most of my work as a freelancer is writing, but I also edit and manage other writers at times.
- I eat dinner and listen usually to some music.
- I read or lie down for a bit or do some editing for my stories.
- Depending on whether I had gone cycling on or not earlier and the time of the year, I go on a quick walk around the neighborhood.
- Then, at night, I may read some more or work on my own stories until an hour or so past midnight.
I like routine. My brain likes it, my body needs it. But I like to make my own routine, or rather, to let my body and my brain choose the routine that suit them, rather than have it imposed on me by others.
I often surprise myself just how much I like my Mondays and how swiftly they pass because I’m in a state of flow. If I’d have to choose the day I die, I’d like it to be Monday.
I don’t know what you are up to right now, but I hope you look forward to your Mondays. I hope you enjoy thema and don’t think of them with dread. If you don’t enjoy your Mondays, do whatever you can to change them.
Make your Mondays personal. Make them reflect who you are. Fill them with things you want to do. Even if it means making less money.
Mondays should set the pace for the rest of your week. They should not feel like a compromise you need to put up with so you can enjoy the weekend. Your Mondays should be yours. You should be proud of them.
“This should be the spirit every Monday. Know that something good will always happen.”Gabriel García Márquez
There’s a lot more happiness in having good Mondays than in many other things we usually associate with happiness. Trust me on this one.
Life is too short and precious for lousy Mondays. Claim your Mondays. Make them your own. We live in a time and age when we have the priviledge to do that.