A case of the Mondays

The worn wooden window seat at my neighborhood café

The worn wooden window seat at my neighborhood café

I woke up this morning with a case of the Mondays. Or at least, what Mondays mean to me: loading the upcoming week into my working memory and often feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of what needs to get done.

Two things helped.

One was a half-remembered phrase from Tara Brach’s True Refuge: this human is having a hard time. (I just looked up the original, and it was “this human being is having a hard time.”) Repeating that to myself helped me feel friendlier toward my overwhelm.

From friendliness, I had the insight that almost surely, most of the tensions I was uncovering would be sorted out by the end of the day. Acknowledging that gave me a moment of relief, and let me ask my future self: what worked? What did you do that served sorting things out? This brought a lot of clarity to the need for a few conversations that sounded hard, and a few actions that would each require a burst of effort but save a lot of time in the long run. What I needed was a moment of relief to taste the payoff of doing the hard thing. And then, doing the hard thing felt possible.

Diana Berlin