What’s the best cure for a case of the Mondays?
Shockingly, my answer isn’t early retirement. (Though, I’m sure losing track of your days helps immensely.)
Now that our little family is back to its usual school time routine, we’re at risk of catching all sorts of conditions. No matter how much hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes I have in my classroom, I understand that schools and virtually everywhere our son likes to toddle the day away are cesspools for germs. But we are committed to dogging two things: The Sunday Scaries and the Monday Morning Blues.
This post isn’t going to come with a recommendation for an essential oil blend. Nor am I going to espouse the benefits of zinc. I actually am a first believer in the power of pseudoscientific hokum when I start to feel the first signs of a cold, but we’re combating the condition another way.
By spending money.
Is It Really Worth $25?
A few weeks ago, I was sorting our gift card box. I noticed that we had a “cash” gift card for $100. The expiration date was fine (years out from the current date), but I saw some fine print on the back that I didn’t like. There was a monthly inactivity fee “where applicable”. I realized that I could probably spend time probing online and stash it away longer.
But then asked myself what I was really waiting for. Why save the gift card? I didn’t have a good answer to save it (besides the fact that I like to save things now), so I wondered if we should spend it instead.
There was a new park that we had been wanting to visit with HP, and I was headed back to work. We’ve only taken him to Noodles twice in his life, so we thought it might be fun to make an afternoon and evening of it. And it was.
It was so much fun to head to the park right from work and find HP racing around with my husband. When it was dinner time, we zipped over to eat, and then headed back to the park for round 2. (I, uh, guess that whole 30 minutes after you eat thing only applies to swimming or something.)
That morning, I was on the fence about using the gift card. I wasn’t sure the experience was really worth $25. Afterward, I realized not only was it worth using the gift card, but I’d actually be more than happy to pay out-of-pocket to do it over and over again.
Changing What I Anticipate
It is my belief that there is nothing quite as contagious as the Sunday Scaries. That is why I stay far, far away from social media on Sunday night. All it takes it one tweet from someone else about how awful or frustrating or hectic the week ahead will be. A few seconds of scrolling, and I start to feel all sorts of anticipation myself.
I have spent a veritable lifetime manufacturing stress. It’s a wonder I haven’t hurt myself from jumping to conclusions all the time. Even if I have done everything in my power to make sure that I enjoyed my weekend and set myself up for a successful week, watching someone else worry is enough to send me into a mental tailspin.
Even avoiding social media wasn’t enough to combat those Sunday evening jitters. So I flipped the narrative. If I’m going to anticipate something on Monday, why not anticipate something fun or positive?
Monday doesn’t have to be awful. Sunday doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking. That might be the default setting of society–dread Monday and live for Friday–but I want another option.
By making plans to dine out on Monday, I know I don’t have to come home to any meal prep or clean up. (Seriously. Why does no one talk about the clean up? I don’t actually care about cooking at all. But who wants to scrub a crusty crock pot? Woof.) And we tie our excursion into something else exciting like a trip to the library or a walk to the park. Knowing that I get a few hours with my husband and my son with no real responsibilities other than to enjoy ourselves is hugely motivating. It’s what I love most about the weekends, and knowing that I get a little slice of it on Monday evening is the perfect way to power through Sunday night and Monday morning.
Saying Yes Also Means Saying No
Of course, this spending salve is a slippery slope. It would be all too easy to say, “Hey, if this makes Monday better, let’s try Tuesday! And Wednesday! And all the days!” That’s why we’re being so deliberate about engineering these Monday spends.
Though I am not a fantastic cook or a Pinterest-worthy meal planner, I do scrawl out a schedule of what we’re eating during the week. If for no other reason than to help with grocery shopping. So now that we are allowing ourselves these Monday indulgences, we schedule them. And we actually plan everything else first.
So now, I know we are headed out to eat on Monday evening. But I also know that we have cabinets and a fridge full of groceries for the week. While it might be tempting to eat out more often, my notepad and my kitchen both say otherwise.
Plus, we all pack our lunches five days a week and don’t stop at Starbucks (unless a gift card is involved). Telling ourselves no allows us to say yes to spending on Mondays without worry or regret.
So Tell Me…Is there some spending that you say yes to that makes you happy?