It’s a cliché to hate Mondays, and I hate to succumb to cliché. However, that didn’t make it easier for me to greet my Monday mornings with a sunny smile. Monday mornings don’t treat me kindly.
“Don’t think of Monday as the unhappy conclusion to your weekend,” Laura told me once. “Think of your weekend as a chance to prepare for the rest of the week. Get some rest. Do fun things. That way, come Monday, you’ll be ready to tackle your work.”
I could never get as much rest as I liked; I felt constantly exhausted. Problematically, when I stayed in bed too long during the weekend, it was even harder for me to take control of my day. When one day spiraled out of control, I had difficulty getting the motivation to get back on track.
Once I realized that, Laura and I got together, ate ice cream, and drew up a schedule/to-do list.
“Kill two birds with one stone,” Laura said, stirring her chocolate and strawberry ice cream together. “What do you need to do each weekend? How much time should it all take?”
I did like routines. I picked one manageable chore for each weekday, which left me with less recovery work to do on the weekends. I could tell immediately that would be a huge plus. Faced with a long list of weekend chores, I would be tempted to give up before I even began. A shorter list looked like more fun.
“It really would help you if you could try to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning,” Laura said. “I started doing that last year, and it worked really well. Even though the baby kept interrupting my sleep, I generally slept more soundly.”
We worked out some times so that I could get my much-needed 7 to 8 hours of sleep, but I wasn’t sure if that would work. I tended to get distracted in the evenings watching television, but I didn’t want to tell Laura that.
Laura scheduled lunch with me every other Sunday. She asked me to aim for at least three walks a week. “They don’t even have to be long walks,” she said.
“All right, fine,” I said.
Laura doodled some flowers and birds along the border of my schedule. Then she froze. “I am having such a good idea!” she said.
Laura put down her pen. “You know how I said you should have a hobby?”
“Yes.” I remembered. The cooking attempts had been less successful than I would have liked. Since the initial disaster, I’d tried again, more cautiously and with better success, but I didn’t think I’d ever consider it a relaxing pastime.
“You have a camera, right?”
I nodded. I’d bought a digital camera a couple years before to take with me on vacation.
“Going on a walk can be boring sometimes,” Laura said, “so why don’t you take your camera with you? You don’t have to take artsy shots of everything you see, but it could be a great way to chronicle your adventures.”
Only Laura would ever say something like “chronicle your adventures” when discussing a walk through a park and neighborhood. I took a thoughtful bite of my ice cream, feeling rather fond of her. “That sounds… interesting,” I said.
“How about this?” Laura said. “When you go on a walk, take your camera. Take ONE picture of something interesting you see. Then, when we get together on Sunday, you can show me your favorite. You know I like photographs.”
She did like photographs. Her house was filled with huge coffee-table books filled with pictures of beautiful scenery, frolicking animals, and exotic people and places.
“I’ll give it a shot,” I said, punning accidentally. Laura gave me a triumphant grin. She likes it when I make jokes like that.
We sat back and looked at my schedule. Even without the artistic addition of birds and flowers, it looked good. Weekday evenings, I had a couple chores to do, but nothing too time-consuming. On the weekends, I wouldn’t have to do much housework at all—just make sure everything was basically in order.
“Now all you need to do is find your camera,” Laura said. “I look forward to seeing what you’ve seen.”
Reese is a fictional character who agreed to share her story on this blog. This was the 5th installment. Click to go back to the first – Cat Attack.