Three Ways to Make Monday Happy
“Survival lies in sanity, and sanity lies in paying attention...the capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.”
- Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way
Weekends are great ... especially when the weather cooperates, the schedule accommodates a nap, and the dog hasn't dug up the garden. When the laundry's put away, the fridge is stocked and the car is full of gas - well, that's about all I need to feel as though I've got the world on a string. However, even when I walking out from a satisfying weekend, I seldom skip toward Mondays.
Maybe it's me, but anything above a mediocre weekend makes re-entry into the work week difficult. (Why wouldn't it?) Monday melancholies remind me that I haven't infused enough weekend fun into my workweek. I best not blame the work week for being so, um... work-ish. (Why wouldn't it be?) Instead, I need to do a better job of blurring the line between work and play. Instead of seeing the weekend as "fun time" and the office as "toil," I need to look for ways to celebrate and play at work. The goal, after all, is to make sure you're not just doing good work, but that you're enjoying it in the process.
According to Julia Cameron, the capacity for finding joy in ANY environment is to show up and pay attention. When we pay attention to the world around us, we are better equipped to find delight. So this week, I'm looking to take pleasure in the little things. Here are three simple ideas that might work for you as well:
1. Look out the window - Even if you don't have a window in your office, be sure to find places to stop and pay attention to what's happening outside. You never know what you'll see. Perhaps you'll see a window washer. The other day, I watched these three guys move off the ledge with speed and agility, and it made my palms sweaty. I found the process mesmerizing. Other times I see people step onto their balcony to take in some sun or watch the weather blow past. Most of the time, however, I'm not paying attention. Who knows what I'm missing? Who knows what you're missing, too! Slow down. Take a breath. Find a window and take a gander.
2. Find a story - Ask a colleague to tell you a story; you'll never know what you'll find out. Last week I learned that a co-worker of mine used to own a boot shop, and he makes world-class cowboy boots! What? Wow! Shame on me for not knowing this YEARS ago!! I can't wait to ask him about this piece of story personally and get the full scoop. What did your colleagues do in a former life? Do you know their background? Show up, pay attention, interview those around you well, and delight in what you learn! Finding fascination in those with whom you work is 100% guaranteed to make your work environment a ton more fun.
3. Enjoy the detours - If all goes smoothly, I'll spend about 16 hours on a plane this week (and I'm not an airline employee) and 6-8 hours in a car navigating a new city. That means surprises and detours are inevitable. Even if your travels only involve commuting on the "L" train, you should expect the unexpected. Much of the time I RESENT the unexpected; what a waste of an opportunity! Detours are where you find adventures. Every story worth reading has the main character take surprise detours. Embrace yours when you see it. One prolific writer says that "days of maintenance always outnumber days of magnificence," and Mondays often feel that way. However, I don't want to dismiss one seventh of my week (or my life!) as drudgery. Instead, I want to see it as an opportunity to pay attention and delight in what I see.
What about you? How do you make Mondays exciting?