Curating Hope With Monday Mornings
Monday, the day people throughout the world dread. The beginning of many people’s work week, and often times, it is the end of their weekend and free time. Many folks will actually begin feeling their angst for the impending day on Sunday night. Mondays are often a tough day for people, as they begin to transition back in to work mode. Things are a bit different for me though, as I have been living on disability with Multiple Sclerosis, I’ve developed a completely different feeling regarding this traditional beginning of the work week. Mondays have become a source of great hope for me, even a joyful event.
I still have a job to do
Obviously, being on disability has a huge impact on this. However, while I no longer get up on Monday morning and leave for an office, I still have a job to do. I have to wake up like most other people, but instead of heading off to the career that I spent much of my life preparing for, I now have another “job”. That of doing my best to keep living. The minor tasks that I would simply overlook because they seemed so insignificant in my previous life, have become my new career. Tasks like feeding my dog, showering, and even preparing food for myself have taken on an all new level of effort for me. All of the simple chores that I once took for granted have become the new, and sometimes very difficult, work assignments for me. For most people on disability, it’s not that we aren’t working, we’re just working at something different than you. We’re working on trying to stay alive, and it can be hard, exhausting work.
I still mess up a lot at this job
So isn’t it like I’m working all the time? Well, yeah, I am. However, as embarrassing as it sounds, I still mess up a lot at this job. I still need a lot of help. I still fail at walking my dog some days. I still sometimes need help to get laundry done. Sometimes, I go days without a shower because it’s too draining. Failure has an all new meaning when you fail at making yourself dinner.
When the weekends come though, I normally have a bit more help, as friends and family are more likely to be around. It’s a lot easier to not think of it as help or charity when it’s a weekend and I’m having dinner (that someone else prepared) and we’re eating together or someone walked the dog because they were in the neighborhood or even staying over. So weekends, for me, can still have a weekend feel to them (though there are weeks when days just run together and I have no idea what day it is. That happens a lot actually). Regardless, by the time Sunday comes around, I am spent. My body demands that Sundays are for rest. Sundays are always spent paying the MS tax for the week, no matter what I’ve done or how much help I’ve had.
A chance to start over
If it’s so much work, why do I look forward to Mondays? Well, because I look at Monday as a chance to start over, a chance that maybe this week will be a bit easier. If not easier, than more successful. For me, Mondays are filled with hope. Particularly if I’ve listened to my body and rested most of Sunday. That rest can often give me a chance to make the new week more successful. Even if that success is just doing my own laundry, that’s still success to me, it gives me hope. Curating hope is an important part of living with this disease. You really do have to organize your thoughts and prepare yourself in order to find hope, in order to find a way to keep going on. For me, Mondays are a big part of that, I’ve built them up in my mind as a fresh start, a new beginning every week. A chance to put all the problems I had the previous week aside. That manufactured switch over may sound silly, but it helps me keep going.
Keeping hope alive
That’s really the point of this, to remember that you need to play an active part in keeping hope alive. You have to remember that no matter how bad things seem, they can improve. One way I do this is by looking forward to Mondays as a fresh start, but it can be any day or time or whatever you like. The important thing to remember, is that even if things aren’t going well right now, you can always have a fresh start later, life can still improve. There is always light outside the darkness, but you have to help yourself get to it, by any means necessary.
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?