Written before Covid-19 changed Mondays as we once knew them…
Why are Mondays so hard? They are like a new year, every week. The resolutions might be smaller but you still make them. Monday is the day you are going to start eating better, exercise more and definitely be more positive about…everything. You have a whole new week to change your life around. You never start on a Tuesday, unless you fell off the wagon on a Monday. And you would never start on a Saturday. It is usually what you do on Saturday that makes you recommit to abstinence of everything good on a Monday. As for Friday, Friday is a wash. I don’t know anyone who gets up on Friday and thinks, “Today is the day that I am going to limit my sugar intake and I am definitely not going to eat mountains of french fries at happy hour this afternoon.” Friday is the day that you fully embody the “I don’t give a shit anymore” mentality and you know, in the back of your mind that you can start again on Monday. But sometimes you need the weekend to brace you for that new Monday, new you. You have to gear up for that meal prep you are going to do, the paperwork you will accomplish and the piles of laundry that will be overcome. I have a friend who writes up the most organized and well thought out menus for the week ahead and then she and her boyfriend go to the grocery store and actually make them happen. Her meal planning notebook is a thing of beauty. I, however, will make a pot of soup, freeze it and eat it for the next 12 months, when I have run out of food, am starving and have to rummage through the freezer because I don’t want to leave the house.
I do think of Mondays as my clean slate. On Sunday nights I lie in bed, stare at the ceiling for hours and think about all the things I am going to do.
- I will avoid the Girl Scout cookies and only eat the carrots I cut up yesterday.
- I will not think about the chocolate in the freezer that I have been hoarding for years. I have never wanted it before but now that I can’t have it, my brain won’t stop fixating on it.
- I will go for a long walk every day – even if it is raining. I will not look at the weather on my phone 4 times and then decide that it is too cold to be outside. Maybe I should get a dog so that I am forced to brave the elements, even when I don’t want to.
- I will go to the grocery store and buy enough food for a week. I will focus on vegetables and avoid anything that is good with cheese or ice cream.
- I will not drink more than one cup of tea a day. Tea is a gateway drug for baked goods and chocolate. How can you drink a cup of tea without something delicious on the side? Tea is comforting on its own but with a cookie it is perfection. It might also be the reason that I put on 10lbs over the holidays.
- I will stop putting sugar in my tea. I don’t need it. I am a grown-up. Grown-ups don’t put sugar in their tea. Also see item above – there is too much sugar happening with tea already.
- I will avoid eating out. I will not go to Mexican restaurants and eat a bushel of tortilla chips. Or if I do go, I will only have a salad. Or maybe just get some rice and beans. You know, fiber. And maybe it will be ok to have a few chips. Only a few. No, no I am not going to go at all. I can’t trust myself.
- I will make myself a hearty breakfast full of protein so I don’t snack.
Yeah right, to all of the above. The chocolate in the freezer is the only thing I know I will avoid. Not because of will power but because it has been in there so long it will probably taste terrible. Same goes for the random assortment of cookies in the vegetable drawer and the candy bars in the bowl on the counter. People come over and are shocked that I don’t eat those things. Oh no, those aren’t the dangers. It is the bread basket at the restaurant or the bowl of mini candy bars at the vet (at any given moment I have at least 2 of them in my purse). Once I leave my house, I can’t restrain myself. Like a labrador retriever, I will eat until I can’t move.
But back to Monday. No surprise that on Sunday night there is the feeling of dread about the Monday on the horizon. Most of us haven’t done the meal prep or the laundry. We have most likely binge watched a show and ordered in a variety of comfort food. We dream about a life of leisure and what it would be like to not have that looming Monday in front of us. However, not to burst anyone’s bubble, Mondays are necessary when it comes to enjoying the rest of your life, including weekends and vacations. If we didn’t have Mondays what else would motivate us to get the bare minimum done?