Monday, June 22, 2009

The Truth About Mondays

This is what Mondays were like for me in my old corporate days.

They would start on Friday afternoon when I would make a list of what I hadn’t gotten to that week but would be at the top of the priority list on Monday morning. My desk would be be neatly organized and I would be ready to go after the weekend. Sunday nights I always tried to get to sleep a little earlier so I was awake and refreshed and ready to get the week off to a good start with a productive Monday.

Some Mondays my plan worked like a charm.

Then there were the other Mondays, the ones when no matter how good my intentions, I would struggle through. I’d look at the list I had neatly printed and try to find something easy I could cross off. Those Mondays no matter how hard I tried, the end of the day would arrive and the list would look exactly like it did on Friday afternoon.

Now I lived in the delusion that when I got to write full time things would be different. I would be working for me, doing what my heart and soul’s passion was. There would be no unproductive Mondays, or Tuesdays or any other day of the week.

I was wrong.

Take last Monday. I couldn’t even get it going at the gym. I was tired after five minutes on the treadmill and it did not get any easier. The same weight I used two days before suddenly felt as though it had been mismarked.

When I got back to the “home office” I sat down for what I had planned to be an afternoon of writing. But the same thing happened. Every, single, keystroke was an effort. I had those excruciatingly long pauses, searching for the next word and staring at the blank space on my word document that every writer dreads. I kept hoping that I would write a sentence, any sentence that made some sort of sense and move my novel forward. A few sentences later, I had to go take a nap. Because I was, after all, exhausted.

I used to think that working my passion meant it was never going to be hard. That there would never be days when I got nothing accomplished. That work would never seem like work. It would be easy. There would be no walking around in circles.

But it doesn’t matter. Whether you get to live and work your passion, simply collect a paycheck or something in between there are always days when the simplest of tasks look like you are about to climb Kilimanjaro. When there is no other solution but to simply stop and take a few long breaths, and if, like me you are lucky enough to work out of your house, take a nap.

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