Does anyone remember the old song by the Mamas and the Papas called “Monday, Monday”? It starts out with a lot of Ba-da ba-da-da-da Ba-da ba-da-da-da Ba-daba-da-da-da…” It’s the tune that’s been spinning through my head this morning. Monday.
The song’s second verse starts with “Monday, monday… can’t trust that day..” It’s a sentiment that is shared by more than a few people, I think.
Monday is complicated. It’s fraught with responsibility and weight. In some ways, there is something refreshing about Monday: it’s full of possibilities. It dares you to wake up with bright eyes and set the tone for your week.
On the other hand, it also invites anxiety to set in after you realize how much you didn’t accomplish over the weekend, and how behind you already are.
That’s why today my friend (a fellow graduate student) and I established a new Monday morning ritual. We’ve decided to start meeting for coffee on Monday morning at a good, early hour, in order to properly establish a tone for the week. It is (and please excuse my new-age cheesiness here) an opportunity to set an ‘intention’ for the week.
For example: this week I need to write a proposal for my new thesis project. I also need to finish reading Judith Butler’s ‘Gender Trouble’ for the class I am auditing (that’s for tomorrow), and then start in on next week’s book. I need to write a couple of articles for the School of Graduate Studies website. I also really really need to do laundry.
I declared some of these things to my friend (I forgot to mention the laundry – but now you all know), and he declared his weeks’ intentions to me (we also discussed our respective weekends, and whined about other things, too).
I think we’ve both decided that there in declaring what we have to get done to another person, we become sublty accountable to them. Next week, over Monday-morning coffee, that other person will check in and ask ” so? did you get it all done?”… and if we haven’t done it, we’ll feel sheepish (or at least that’s the idea).
Until now, I haven’t liked the way my Monday morning have been unfolding. I resent starting the day by checking email and getting all anxious about the stuff I need to do. Starting the week with a friend and a conversation seems to me like a far more human – and helpful – way to launch into it.
Here’s to a productive week!