You're 100 Percent Wrong About Mondays

100PercentWrong Mondays
Gary Taxali

A confession: I despise Saturdays, a vast expanse of "free time" that is never really free, at least not if you have children, or responsibilities, or distant relatives who insist on having very long brunches during which they detail with courtroom precision the weekend they spent in the Vermont woods. Nothing induces anxiety quite like the injunction to relax.

But I sort of like Mondays. I don't want to say I love Mondays, lest you think that I'm an Internet troll looking for clicks (or a magazine troll looking for subscribers—you get the idea), and that in order to get them, I will say outrageous things about Mondays and the national debt ceiling.

Monday is our clean slate, the absolver of past sins, promising the most American thing of all: a fresh start. Let the French have their languid mornings, their interminable August sojourns to the Amalfi Coast. We are a nation of Mondays—or at least we were, in the days of Rosie the Riveter, the days before "Netflix and chill."

From an existential standpoint, hating Monday makes no sense. Mondays will constitute precisely one-seventh of your existence on this planet. It seems unwise to consign so much time—about 63,232 hours, if you live to 76 and sleep eight hours a day, by my calculations—complaining about the vagaries of the Gregorian calendar. Unless you move to Bora-Bora or become very rich, you will likely always live in a society with Mondays. And you will have to work on Mondays, and there will be an email waiting for you from that insufferable martinet in the Chicago office. Also, a long line at Chipotle. And no paper towels in the bathroom.

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Got the Monday blues? Think about it this way—Mondays will constitute one-seventh of your existence on this planet. No reason to spend that much time being pissed off about the start of your week. Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

My point isn't just deal with it. Rather, use the supposed lemon that is Monday to make philosophical lemonade. If the notion of returning to work on Monday morning truly makes you miserable, consider switching jobs. If you drank too much over the weekend, today drink less. Went shopping on Saturday? Give a fiver to the homeless guy standing near the entrance ramp to the freeway on Monday.

I do get that Monday can be a challenge. It shouldn't be a prison sentence, though. We've pretty much agreed that Monday sucks and that the best way to spend it is to complain until it finally slinks in dejection toward Tuesday. But what if we didn't complain about Monday? What if we devoted rigorous contemplation to the things that bothered us, instead of blaming our unhappiness or unease on poor and guiltless Monday? I know I sound like a high school guidance counselor, but I happen to think high school guidance counselors are the unacknowledged philosopher kings in our midst.

I am also convinced that our dislike of Mondays is more an assumption than a genuine sentiment, sort of like our collective dread of anchovies. The narrative is cheap, silly and above all degrading, suggesting that just because most of us have to work—and some of us do not love the work we have—we are incapable of retaining the basic optimism that should come with being alive. And whatever else the case, if you're reading this, then you're alive. That's pretty special, even on a Monday morning when a conference call with the aforementioned cubicle despot in Chicago looms.

And remember that there is Monday Night Football to close the day. So not all is lost.

You're 100 Percent Wrong About Mondays