It is Monday.
It is the start of another week, a week which holds appointments, work reports, scheduled naps, chores, and family dinners stirred and baked and served. It is a seven-day cycle, the one-more-again feeling circling the drain before a new week floods us with to-do’s. And on most Mondays it is most simple just to function. Auto-pilot gets tasks checked off lists and laundry folded. On most Mondays we take a deep breath, a burdensome sigh, and wait to be bossed around. Most Mondays we keep a flinching, cringe-faced expression, waiting for an inevitable bitch-slap from the world.
Most Mondays we are entirely wrong.
This Monday I will dance along to singing, cartoon robots with my kid. I will shake this robot daze. This Monday I’ll do one better than simply completing my day; I will live it with a freshness that makes produce look limp. Monday morning will being a thirsty chugging of minutes, of baby, exercise, conversation, food, fresh air, and moments of rest. This Monday I’ll drink it up and stare in wonder at my glass still bubbling over. Monday is a day of choice, I’ll practice this as preached, and do a little more than just getting things done. On most Mondays you just went to work. I just fed and rocked the baby. You just cleaned the house. You just did, mostly because you just thought that was the only option. But this Monday, I see, offers two very different outcomes: a day of chores verses a day of happy productivity, a day of sitting complacently verses a day of joyful activity. I’ve decided, half-doped up on coffee and hope, that a Monday celebrated just must be worth more than a Monday sucker punched.
Last Monday, I ran out of things to read. I seriously considered jumping in to one of Tom’s inspirational, sports-history books, before deciding against it. Since we are discussing choices, I can tell you this was most definitely a solid one. Four hundred pages on the science behind being a golf caddy is akin the dread and blah of Most Mondays. Instead, I picked up Elizabeth Berg’s Range of Motion. My copy houses coffee stains; its pages are crinkled around the edges and painted various shades of neon-highlighter. In all its dust and wear I felt irrationally rational in choosing it as the freshest start for this freshest of Mondays.
In this old book I came across a passage that felt like most Sundays (ten years ago, when I went to church). This measly paragraph rang out in that secret way, a sermon loud and boisterous that somehow, some way is meant solely for you. No one else in flinching while internally you do a spirit-cartwheel, so enthused that for this one day someone thought just what you were thinking, told you just what you needed to hear. I read and re-circled the words. Chanting them as mantras are best recited. This was a call against Most Mondays:
“I am living on a planet…where people died in plagues, where Mozart sat to play, where sap runs in the spring, where children are caught in the crossfire, where religion shines its light only to lose its way, where people stop to reach a hand to help each other to cross, where much is known about the life on an ant… where the star called Sun shows itself differently at every hour, where people get so bruised they kill each other, where baobabs grow into impossible shapes with trunks that tell stories to hands…where you rise in the morning and feel your own arms with your own hands, checking yourself, where lovers’ hearts swell with the certain knowledge that only they are the ones, where caterpillars crawl and skyscrapers are erected because of the blue line on the blueprint …
I am living here on this planet, it is my time to have my legs walk the earth, and I am turning around to tell [you] once again, ‘Yes, here’. I am saying that all of this, all of this, all of these things are the telling songs of the wider life, and I am listening with gratitude, and I am listening for as long as I can, and I am listening with all of my might.”
So, this Monday I will run. I will wrestle a toddler. I will pet my dog. I will read. I will write. I will cook…in the microwave…home-bought packaged meals from scratch. I will sing to Savage Garden’s 90′s pop ballads. I will not be ashamed when a trucker in the next lane openly laughs at my in-car performance. I will ponder what Savage Garden meant with lyrics like “chicka cherry cola”. I will crave a cherry cola. I will shower and shave at least half of a leg. I will forget to wear makeup on purpose. I will dance and reassure myself that I twirl today just like I twirled ten years ago. I will look for adult-sized tutus online. I will not scrub the stains into submission. I will love my little
crayon-smeared, dirty-diapered, dog-chewed house. I will drink water…to flush out the gallon of coffee/ crashing caffeine waves swimming around my belly. I will get another cup of coffee. I will crack myself up with jokes about poop or religion. I will jot these jokes down in my notebook especially for jokes I shouldn’t say aloud. I will point out extraordinarily ordinary things to the rookie-human of the house. My son will remind me that birds in the sky, a techni-colored playground, and the whistle of branches in the wind are awe-inspiring treats. I will take a mental note that despite peeing his pants, the kid is no rookie-human. I will wave to the mailman. I will ignore his peeved expression. I will nap a true mother’s nap. I will nap, sitting up and scraping toys from under the couch. I will prompt my kid to say “fork” over and over again. I will hear a baby voice oblivious and dropping f-bombs. I will laugh and laugh and laugh. I will love and love and love . I will do this all so poorly the masses will wonder why I bother, but I will do it all defiantly because this isn’t most Mondays.
This Monday I will sing along to these telling songs of life. Like a “chicka cherry cola”, I’ll never understand the lyrics, but belt it out triumphantly all the same. I will celebrate this Monday with gratitude because, after all, tomorrow is a new day. A Tuesday. And rumor has it most Tuesdays totally suck.