Hey there, my friend! How are you?
It’s Monday (in NZ, at least!), so welcome to our post about Monday.
Poor, dear Monday—so well-intentioned, so misunderstood.
the short straw
When it comes to days of the week, Monday really drew the short straw.
But, why? Why the bad rap, nasty memes, the negative mindset when this day rolls around?
Yes, the answer is obvious, but stick with me!
I’m doing this research at the moment. It’s narrative research—all about our stories.
General consensus is that we first live stories and then we tell them (duh!)—and all the stories that follow are shaped by that living and that telling, by what comes before.
Our lives are stories that we live by. Not just our personal stories, but also historical, cultural, societal stories that we adopt as our own.
So, we seem to have this—wait, not seem, we do have this societal story that tells us we need to be grumpy buggers on Mondays.
It’s a thing—it’s what we do, right?
Such a regularly repeated story (every week, in fact!), so ingrained that we never think to question it.
let’s question it
The answer isn’t hard to find. It’s our favourite four letter word—
Our attitude to Monday isn’t actually our attitude to Monday at all.
It’s our attitude to work.
Poor old Monday just happens to be the start of the work week.
But, what if it’s just the start of the week?
The first key to changing this story is not changing this story at all—it’s changing another.
We have this other, fairly recent story that makes us obsessed with finding work-life balance.
And, this isn’t just with work—it also happens with school.
School is school and work is work and life is where the good stuff happens, right?
There is no work-life balance. We have one life. What’s most important is that you be awake for it.
~ Janice Marturano, Institute for Mindful Leadership
There is no such thing as work-life balance—it is all life. The balance has to be within you.
~ Sadhguru, Isha Foundation
What does work-life balance mean? Every moment is about living.
~ Michael Kouly, Beyond Leadership
change our minds
Okay, so we do know this—it’s quite obvious.
We do know that life is precious and time is precious. We know that.
We know that it’s our attitude to work that’s keeping us from living Monday (and every day) to the full.
Or the work itself? No, let’s be honest—it’s our attitude to it!
We know that.
But, it’s not enough. Why?
It’s our why that’s gone missing and it’s been MIA for a long, long time.
Our purpose sure ain’t been working!
Why’s that? Because this is the other story we live by—
The habit of thinking about work as something one does to make money is so ingrained in us that we can scarcely imagine what a revolutionary change it would be to think about it instead in terms of the work done.
~ Dorothy Sayers, Why work? (1942)
Sayers wrote this essay 75 years ago and it sounds like it could’ve been written today. It’s still with us.
Not all of us—hopefully, you’re one of the lucky ones? If you are, please share your secrets!
But, there are still a lot of us that are trudging through work (aka life), from pay cheque to pay cheque.
Money is ingrained and well, sure, it’s important, but it’s not a good enough purpose. It’s not a good enough ‘why’ to get us out of bed every day.
To live every day.
So, what is?
Bugger if I know! But, we’ll get there. One step at a time.
Our step for today, for this Monday, is simply accepting where we are.
Accepting that we know something’s got to give.
We may not know what our personal why is right now, but we surely know what it’s not—
It’s not working for the money.
It’s not living for the weekend.
It’s not quietly accepting the stories that society writes for us.
We’ll write our own.
And, we’ll talk more.