“Talkin’ to myself and feeling old. Sometimes I’d like to quit. Nothin’ ever seems to fit. Hangin’ around, nothin’ to do but frown, rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”(The Carpenters, 1971)
Slow, nurturing, steady rain, how unusual for Colorado and on a Monday no less. Brings back memories of the old Carpenter’s song. What is it about this type of rain that makes you want to curl up in bed with a good book or bake something tantalizing in the oven, or savor a cup of deliciously warm coffee? Even my dog is lethargic, curled by my feet as I write this blog.
Mondays are a different animal to me now. At some point they became the bane of my existence. I’m not sure when since I found my work rather fulfilling for many, many years. All of sudden I became aware of dread coming over me at about 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, that dread of thinking about getting back to the grind, back to work, back to the stress of another 80 hour week. As I progressed in my career, the responsibilities and demands placed upon me became greater and for many years I was hungry for that, I thrived for it. But there came a point where I heard Peggy Lee singing in my ear “Is That All There Is” and I knew that type of work life was no longer for me. Been there, done that, time to move on.
Now that I am “retired”, Monday is like any other in a progression of glorious days where I get to choose what I want to do and when I want to do it. And the same applies to the weekends. No longer are Saturday and Sunday my mecca. They are just like any other day of the week, only it seems I see more people out and about on those days. This is a gift of a magnitude I can’t even begin to put into words. It parallels that joy of childhood when one day is like all the others, filled with discovery, adventure and play. Over time we lose that precious feeling. We become slaves of the treadmill to the point that we forget that we have a life or even deserve one for that matter. The choices we make, the responsibilities we have dictate who we are and what we do. And there’s nothing wrong with that unless is causes you to forget who you really are and what is really important. For some people, work is important, fulfilling, something that makes them very happy. For many years, that was me. I always found tremendous fulfillment in my work until my mother died and I began looking over my shoulder finally believing that maybe I could not avoid a similar fate and if so, would I leave with a mountain of regrets. That’s all I needed. I was done. I’ve never looked back.
So although today is gloomy, overcast with a steady “Chicago-like” rain, one thing is for sure – rainy days and Mondays no longer get me down… and for that I will eternally grateful!