We’re a generation that hates Mondays. Have you noticed that? Monday Memes abound, and when Sunday evening draws to a close the majority of America falls into a state of silent dread, downtrodden for the walk into whatever workplace that awaits them the following morning. I wonder to my self sometimes, was it always this way?
What are we working for, or who are we working for? When did we become so discontent with our station in life that the thing we spend the majority of our time doing (work) becomes the thing we dread the most? Worse than death and taxes, it seems work has taken first place as the most certain thing we absolutely must face. And we face it with a deep-set frown.
I mean, you gotta work, right? Someone has to pay the bills, pay the second mortgage, finance the Disney trip next summer, and keep the kiddos in designer duds. We live to work, we work to live, never imagining there could be a different way.
We’re afraid to do the things we really love, the things dreams are made of. I went into the nursing field over packing up and heading to Hollywood because my dad insisted the medical field was the smart choice, the reliable choice, the vocation that would bring in a steady income. Because that’s the world we live in.
We don’t chase dreams; we chase paychecks. We don’t create a debt-free life. Instead we create the life we’ve always dreamed of, complete with price tags we can’t really afford. We pack our lives and over-sized homes with things we don’t really need, but things that might fill the emptiness we have over doing a job we don’t really enjoy.
Or perhaps we forget who we’re working for. Generations before us had a pride for their jobs, whatever they were, because they knew they were working (in essence) for their families. Today we’re usually working for a newer car, a bigger lawn, or to payoff our caviar dreams. We work for vacation, not for the satisfaction of a job well done. We work overtime for those coveted vacations that photograph well, the ones to even make the Joneses green with envy. We work day in and day out for those paltry two weeks that are so jam-packed with all the things we’ve been missing that we’re exhausted from our time off. Is there any Monday worse than the Monday after vacation?
Is there a way we could hate Mondays less? I mean, Monday isn’t really any different than Tuesday, or Friday for that matter. As a nurse I can be off on a Monday as easy as work a Sunday. So it’s not so much Monday that we hate, but rather what Monday represents. And typically Monday represents the return to something we’d rather not return to. It’s a return to a job we hate, a job we gripe about endlessly, yet are afraid to leave. We’re afraid to make a change, as if we truly believe that the evil we know is far better than the one we do not.
So, we’ll keep robotically returning to something we dread, living life like a replay reel. Just like the movie Groundhog Day, we’re forced to repeat each and every day just like the one before it. Yet even in that movie, didn’t Bill Murray discover he could change the outcome of each and every day?
Can we be the change?
What if we stepped out in courage to conquer something new?
What if we listened to the still, small voice in our head that told us of a different way?
What if we stopped working to have more stuff we didn’t really need?
Or we stopped losing sight of the joy that existed in every single day?
Maybe we could open our eyes to the little things that blessed us, instead of trudging in a trance to the beat of the same glum drum.
Maybe we could pay off debt instead of creating more. Maybe we could create time off instead. Maybe we could create the opportunity to chase a dream.
Because I’m still over here trying to figure out when in the world The Great American Dream stopped being about living your dreams?! And instead it became about striving in stress to create for yourself what someone else said is “your” American Dream.
We forgot how to step outside the box. We forgot how to focus on what’s important. We started one day working for all the stuff that will rust and ruin, instead of cultivating and creating a legacy to leave behind.
And you see, a legacy doesn’t have to be what the world says is “great.”
Sometimes most times the greatest legacy you can leave behind is family and friends who have learned from you to cherish life as the gift it is. They know you don’t just cherish Saturday and Sunday, dragging themselves through the rest of the week in a disillusioned fog. No! They cherish every day. They work for the things they cherish in all of those cumulative days, and if it’s not worth cherishing then they don’t waste their time working over for it. They won’t work tirelessly for another man’s dream. They’ll create their own.
So why do we hate Mondays? Perhaps it’s because we’re uncomfortable. We’re uncomfortable living a life that fights for dreams we didn’t dream. Instead we’re working for dreams that society created for us. They’re dreams of paper and sand that will collapse before we ever obtain them. And even if we do grab a little handful, won’t the wind eventually just blow it away?
Perhaps if we were working for our own dreams, working for relationships with those we love, and working less because we let go of the paper dreams, maybe then we wouldn’t hate Mondays quite so much.
I mean, it’s worth a try, right?
Ask yourself, what are you working for? If you died tomorrow and it wouldn’t follow you to Heaven, then perhaps it’s not worth working so laboriously to obtain.
I don’t know, but maybe Monday can just be another day.