Oh Monday, my Love
“You never know how much you love something until it’s gone.”
“You never know what you had until you’ve lost it.”
“You can’t appreciate what you’ve got until you no longer have it.”
And so on, and so on.
That can be such a depressing quote, or, it is so often used in sad situations. When a loved one dies, when a relationship is over, when the world ends and you no longer have the amenities of modern living. Or, like us this weekend, no power or water for 5 hours at -35.
But it can also be so uplifting because you can truly appreciate the thing you love so much more when you get it back (assuming it can come back, so obviously I’m not talking about death or the apocalypse right now. Although, even that is open for discussion. Just not here, today.) Like, you forget how amazing a cold glass of water can taste until you’ve hiked through the desert for hours with an empty canteen. Or you forget how much you love your dog until he comes bounding up at you like he’s been waiting his whole lifetime for you, even if you’ve only been gone fifteen minutes. Or you forget how truly amazing air conditioning is until you’ve spent several hours at 40 degrees (celcius) with 100% humidity.
In those cases, that quote can be pretty amazing. When you remember how much you really did love it.
Like me and Mondays.
Now, I know most people hate Mondays. Or that is the typical stereotype. And I’d probably hate it too if I had to get up and go through the chaos of a Monday morning only to get to work knowing the weekend is days away.
But the thing is, for me, it’s the weekend that’s work and it’s Monday that is the holiday. It is not until Monday that I can relax. I never realize until it actually here, presently, staring me in the face, that I live for Monday mornings just like this; where my own music is playing through the speakers with no one to change it or talk above it, where I can sit at my computer desk, coffee in hand, and type away with no one to interrupt or ask for something, or to crack a joke, or to ask what I’m doing. It’s not until Monday morning when I get to come back to myself.
I don’t know if this is why writing calls to me, or if it’s a byproduct of spending long hours at the computer, alone, not speaking to anyone but the characters in your head, but it is not until Monday morning, when the chaos of the weekend is over, that I feel I can relax. That I can breathe again. That I remember who I am. It is not until I’m alone again when I realize that I am truly on the right path in life and that it has to work out because if I actually had to go to work, in an office, with people, after spending my weekend with people (even if it’s usually just the three others in my family) I would shrivel up and die. There’d just be a tiny, wrinkly, raisin version of me sitting wherever I would sit at my job, shaking and shuddering from the energy of everyone else around me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. They are great. (Of course they are, they’re my family. If I was sitting here stating how much I disliked my husband and kids you’d be reading a whole other blog post, most likely one that was for, well, I don’t know. Sociopaths trapped in modern society? The severely depressed with a need to self-punish? I’m not sure, but you probably get my point.)
But my family is loud. And noisy. And demanding. And high energy. And did I mention loud? What about severely Attention Deficit while lacking the actual diagnosis. What about hyperactive, did I mention hyperactive?
That’s us. We’re like the Duggars but instead of copious amounts of children and extreme conservatism, our house contains the noise of that many kids and the chaos of freedom of choice, or liberalism, or whatever the opposite of absolute control is. We are scattered and out of control. How about we just leave it at that.
And it’s hard for a severe introvert tending towards antisocial-hermetic (take that as hermit but as a verb) behavior to handle that for sixty hours straight (including Friday night and pre-school bus pick up Monday morning). But I never quite realize this until Monday morning hits and I’m too exhausted to get out of bed and get the kids ready for school, and I have to really drag my ass to get going until all the snow pants, coats, toques, and gloves are on, the backpacks are packed, and the bundles of insulation are hugged and kissed goodbye, the door slamming behind them. It is not until that moment, right there, with the slamming of the door, before the bus’s brakes shriek as it stops to pick them up, that I realize how in love with Mondays I am. Because it is not until this moment that I realize what I have been missing, why I get so increasingly short-tempered and frustrated as the weekend progresses. It is not until I am leaning against the door, inhaling and exhaling peace and quiet that I realize, I can hear my own thoughts! I can do whatever I want and no one will be a foot behind me, tripping on my heels. I. Can. Breathe. Again.
I’m sure some of you would find this harsh. Probably those of you who live for their families. And there is nothing wrong with that, and my depth of care and concern for mine is no different than yours. But, ultimately, it always comes down to us, ourselves, doesn’t it? Even those who sacrifice everything for someone else, or their work, or their kids, it still comes down to them even if that is just their sacrifice. And there are those of you who actually get energy from people, from others, from their families (and I do, often, at time, I do, yes, of course I do, just not for sixty hours straight) and so probably do not find yourself spent and exhausted by Monday morning. However, I am one that needs to retreat into a tiny, quiet hole, and recharge. And on the weekends, sometimes it’s painfully hard to find a quiet hole. Especially when you live in a tiny treehouse like us. So that recharging just doesn’t happen. Maybe to 68%, sometimes to 57%, on very lucky days when everyone has plans so I don’t have to feel guilty for ditching them or not spending time with my family, it will even get close to 95%. But it is not until I am by myself, alone, for several QUIET hours, with no one to put a happy face on for, that I can really get my battery level up to 100%.
And the thing is, I don’t realize this until Monday hits. Until then, I’ve enjoyed my time. I’ve enjoyed my weekend. I’m just really tired. I just can’t pretend to be happy, easy-going RJ (yeah, I don’t actually refer to myself in the third person, nor do I call myself by my own nickname, but for the sake of this posting it was kind of necessary) on Sundays as I’ve already reached my limit by Saturday night (okay, to be honest, I’ve often had enough by Saturday afternoon, but that just makes me seem like a self-absorbed bitch). I want someone to cater to me, not the other way around (and by cater, I mean, feeding, cooking, cleaning, and so forth). And I end up feeling guilty for that. I end up feeling selfish, grumpy, and frustrated. And it’s not until everyone is gone that I realize, it’s not really my fault. It’s how I’m wired. I’m programmed to be alone and quiet and not have demands of people hanging off me like a sticky cobweb that just won’t get off.
And I have to convince myself, remind myself, that it’s okay to feel this way. That it’s okay to want to retreat from everyone, because after I’ve had my Monday, when that bus drops the kids off after school, when my husband gets home from work, I’ll be happy to see them again. Because I have spent my day alone. Alone with my own words, with my own thoughts; just completely and totally ALONE. And then I can remember who I am as MYSELF; not as wife, mother, friend, and whatever other role I had to wear. I can just be me. And sit in it for a few heavenly hours before it all begins again. And when it does, my social batteries will be charged, and I’ll be ready and willing to put on those hats one more time.
But until then, oh Monday, I’m going to bask in your quiet, in your peace. I am going to dwell in finding myself again. I’m going to fully appreciate you after having lost you over the past 60-72 hours, also known as, the weekend.