I’m reading about JoAnna’s summer in New York City. I get to plunging sundresses, tank tops and high waisted shorts and am struck by the description of perspiration that “rolls down the low curve of a neck and pool in that nook at the base of the spine”.
Ah, sweat. Yes, I think I remember sweat. But then again, it’s been about three months since I’ve heard anyone around me talk about the concept of sweating or had the actual experience of it. It’s the middle of winter in Canberra, and we’ve all forgotten how to be warm. Even after a workout, I might be down to two layers of clothing and feeling a bit pink-cheeked, but sweaty? Forget about it. I’m just grateful that I can feel my toes.
But today, it is worse than cold. It is cold and it is also Monday. It is cold and it is Monday and it is 7am and I have to get out of bed. I need a plan. It needs to be easy to follow, because on Monday morning we are all weak and confused and easily led astray. Monday is a cold and unforgiving taskmaster, and if it gets you in its claws, there is no going back. If it gets you, what hope do you have for Tuesday? You will never make it to the promised land of Thursday (which is blissfully close to Friday), if you do not first conquer Monday. But I almost have it figured out.
So, the alarm goes off. You are tired. This is probably because you stayed up too late last night watching the end of season two of Battlestar Galactica and having an ill-advised glass of wine (I’m not saying this is what I did, I’m just saying that this is a common thing that happens to people on Sunday night). But…
Sunday night is not just for episodes of seminal sci-fi TV series – it is also for helping defeat Mondays. If you manage to summon the effort, the following things can be done on Sunday:
- Make a pot of soup, a curry, or some kind of casserole thing. Mondays are tolerable when you have a smug sense of self-righteousness gotten from having your lunch already organised. Having trouble with ideas? Try the soup section of 101 Cookbooks, or the Lunch Box section of Serious Eats for good, easy, smug-inducing recipes.
- Pick out your clothes. If it’s winter and Sunday evening and you’re only getting around to putting your clothes in the washing machine now, it is too late, my friends. Those suckers won’t dry before Monday morning and you’ll be stuck wearing trousers with a damp waistband, which is decidedly not awesome. Wash earlier in the week and make it easier on your pre-caffeinated beverage Monday-self.
- If you’ve got yoga/gym/synchronised swimming training on Monday, now is the time to put your stuff in a bag. Better yet, always keep the bag ready, and just switch out old clothes for clean ones when needed. If I rely on Monday to remember to get it together, I end up working out with no water bottle. Or no towel. Or no pants.
Do not mess around with your caffeine delivery system of choice. It is Monday. It is not time for substandard coffee or weak tea. In fact, some would argue that it is never time for substandard coffee and weak tea, and they would be right, but Mondays are especially important. If you’re a tea drinker, start off with good tea leaves or the best tea bags you can find (Haha, just kidding. Never use tea bags. Tea bags are Monday suicide.). If you get your coffee on the way to work, go to the best place in your area. Monday mornings are for full-strength English Breakfast and double-shot espressos. Let everyone know that you mean business.
Try not to shout at anyone before lunchtime. This is tricky, because when it is Monday and you are tired, you will only encounter idiots, because 8am Monday is the Idiot Witching Hour. They will stand in front of you in queues and take too much time to order their coffee. They will turn up their music too loud on the bus and you’ll have to listen to the awful sound leaking out of their Beats By Dre headphones. They will forget to bring that thing you all needed to the meeting. They will not bring cookies when it is their turn for morning tea. But if you lose your temper, Monday wins. So, take a few deep breaths and feel the tolerance increasing. If you can make it until midday, the idiots will all but disappear. Until next week.
Be nice to yourself. A lot of people start diets on Monday, which is a terrible idea because it’s usually exactly the time you could use the extra french fries. The key to surviving Monday is to be organised, alert and full of tolerance. To be tolerant, you need to be kind, and the best way to be kind to others is start by being kind to yourself. Tell yourself that it’s okay to be a bit tired, or a bit cranky, or to want a bigger lunch. Tell yourself that you have nice hair, that your outfit matches, and that you are really, really good at karaoke despite what everyone you knows says. Monday might be hard on you, but you don’t have to be.
So, good luck my fellow Tea Empresses. May your weeks be swift and devoid of painful agenda meetings and your leisure time arrive faster than you thought possible. And any extra Monday-defeating tips you might have will always be appreciated.