If asked, most people would say they hate Mondays for a variety of different reasons. For many, the dread of another Monday means the end of a fun weekend and back to work. For others, it may be an aversion to more fatal events. Statistically, it has been determined that 20% more people die of heart attacks on a Monday and it has been speculated that more people die of all causes on a Monday. Whether it is back to the grind or fear of the grave, people seem to have just cause for hating Mondays.
While I wouldn’t say that I love Mondays, I definitely don’t hate Mondays. My perspective may well be influenced by my father who though he never said it to me, I suspected loved Mondays. Being a minister, Monday was my dad’s only full day off. Tuesday through Friday, my dad would work on church business. Saturday, he would finish polishing up his sermon, and then Sunday obviously was church service, sometimes in the morning and evening.
Growing up, I was no big fan of Monday as for most of the year; it always meant going back to school. I remember feeling this way all the way through college. After college, Monday took on different meanings depending on my stage of life.
Early in my professional career, I actually looked forward to Mondays. Not that I didn’t enjoy weekends but at that time, I was doing some quite interesting research. I was an analytical chemist working with high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), an analytical tool that separates compounds in solution under high pressure. I have always liking working with my hands and I used to joke that I had become a micro plumber working with this tool. Using micro-bore tubing and fittings much like a plumber, connections are made between the various components of an HPLC. And just like household plumbing, if fittings weren’t made good enough, leaks would develop.
When our kids were old enough to go to school, Mondays took on another meaning. On our drive to school each day, we would pass by a house that had a ceramic duck on the front porch. The unique feature of this duck was that the owner would have the duck dressed in an outfit appropriate for the season. In the spring, it might be a bright yellow rain coat. At Thanksgiving, it might be dressed up as a turkey. The fun was seeing who would notice first if the duck had on a new outfit. If I would notice first, I would shout out, “Duck alert, duck alert.” But even when the duck was not sporting a new outfit, it was always fun to see him.
At one point, I recall someone saying to me that he hated Mondays and for some reason I started thinking about that. Being a scientist and one who enjoys math and analyzing things, I realized that we spend 1/7 of our life on Mondays. If someone hated Mondays, that meant that they hated 1/7 of their life. That seemed like a pretty big portion of their life to hate. From then on, I was determined to find ways to not hate Monday.
Thanks to the invention of iPods and the creation of podcasts, I make sure I at least get a good laugh on Monday. What better way to go into the office than with a smile from laughing on the drive to work? Being a lover of cars, I have always enjoyed Car Talk on National Public Radio. Now my routine involves listening to the episode from the previous Saturday on my drive in. Usually I am not very far into my drive before I am laughing out loud in the car. Drivers around me probably wonder what is so funny about a Monday drive to work.
Even if you don’t like cars, there may be other ways to avoid the Monday blues. Another way to look at it is after you have made it through Monday, you only have a four-day workweek left. Who wouldn’t enjoy a four-day workweek every week?
As I approach retirement age and the time when I discontinue full time work, I know Mondays will take on a new meaning. Whatever that will be, I will be happy to know looking back that I haven’t hated Mondays; I haven’t hated 1/7 of my life. Maybe I will begin to love Mondays like my dad did, as it will be the beginning of a new adventure every week.