Monday Moans

Monday Moan Face

Monday Moan Face

For the longest time, I hated Mondays with, as a friend of mine would put it, “the white-hot passion of a thousand suns.” My hatred of Back-to-Business day was almost pathological.

I wasn’t just greeting the Monday morning sun by moaning and pulling the covers over my head. My reaction went much deeper than that. Like clockwork, I’d start getting knots of queasy, sick anxiety in my stomach on Sunday nights. My head would start hurting and all the positive thoughts and feelings I’d focused on over the weekend would fly out the window, leaving me with a big lump in my chest and a seriously overblown feeling that I was a doomed caged animal. I’d go to bed early, and toss and turn all night, unable to sleep because of to-do-lists and work worries clamoring in my brain.

By Monday morning, my stomach was so upset I couldn’t drink coffee. Now how frickin’ cruel is that? We all know that 8-to-5’ers survive the grind by mainlining java, especially when we only sleep 3-4 hours the night before. Taking even that small comfort away from me was Monday’s way of kicking me after it had already knocked me flat on my ass.

I understood my cycle of anxiety and depression. I knew that by the end of the day on Wednesday, I’d see the weekend on the horizon and start coming back to my happier, friendlier self. But for the first few days of the workweek, I was a sad and bitter bitch who felt like stepped-on dog doo, and no amount of pop pyschology could change it.

I gave myself all the pep talks. I told myself the weekend would return, that I should be thankful to have a job in a time when so many didn’t, and yada yada yada. But I was suffering from big-time burnout. With the exception of vacations, I’ve been working an average of 50 hours a week without a break since my early 20s, dealing with stressful jobs and often, an overload of responsibility. Monotony, routine and constantly focusing on the demands of my job rather than the other priorities in my life had worn me down.

People who walk around full of negative energy are a drain on the rest of us. Spending time with a perpetual sadsack makes me want to drink vast quantities of jager. So the last thing I wanted to do was be one myself. However, it seemed I couldn’t help it. I knew poor Lee was brought down by the way my switch flipped from “happy girl” to “psychobitch” come Sunday night.

So instead of moaning to him, I started my Monday morning Facebook update ritual. Each Back-to-the-Grind day featured a sarcastic, biting status update about how much Monday sucked. It was a horror novel. A hamster cage. We needed to invent Monday repellant that worked like Raid on roaches. It was a dementor out of Harry Potter. A punishment for some unknown crime I’d committed in another life. The schoolyard bully who beat me up and took my lunch money. Each week, the Monday Miserable Experience got blasted to my friend’s news feeds.

Then one Monday, I was off. There was no stress, no anxious knot of snakes twisting in my stomach, no headache. My coffee tasted wonderful. I had no Monday Morning Moan. “I’ll give my friends a break,” I thought, “and for once not be Ms. Negativity.”

Then the questions started coming in. A lot of my Facebook buddies, especially those who faced “back to work” on Monday mornings, were looking for my damn moan. When it didn’t show up, they were annoyed.

It had become part of their Monday morning survival ritual. Without realizing it, I had been capturing what many of us felt in those silly little vents. They had become little cries out to the universe that helped my friends smile a little in the midst of their own Monday hells.

When I told the inquirers that there was no moan because for today, at least, Monday wasn’t biting me in the ass, one of them said “But … I NEED your Monday moan!”

Because vacation had me all mellow and happy, I couldn’t come up with a thing. No dementors, zombies, cages or soul-sucking aliens. Since words wouldn’t come, I took the picture above and posted it on my page, with an explanation that it was my “Monday Moan” face for those times when I didn’t give my fellow daily-grinders a dose of sarcasm.

I learned something out of this whole thing. We’re always told to be positive, to look on the bright side, to be thankful and always remember that it could be worse. All of that is good advice, and true. But there’s also something to be said for acknowledging what sucks, as long as we do it in a way that reaches out to others rather than in a me-me-me-me-me sort of way.

None of us like to feel alone. None of us want to be the only one struggling with something that mades us angry, frustrated, or sad. It isn’t that we want others to be as miserable as we are. We just feel better knowing that our feelings are normal. Seeing our attitude captured in other’s words lightens the load.

For those who aren’t in love with their jobs, Mondays are often a struggle. Bitching and moaning get you nowhere. But my attempts to vent by capturing the essence of Monday in silly little capsules had made others laugh, taken some of the stress off their shoulders, and thrown just a wee bit of good out into the hectic day.

Looking on the bright side is a good philosophy for living life. But sometimes, to get there, you first have to poke the bad stuff with a stick, prodding at it and putting it out there in all its ugly colors and making fun of it. Once you do so, it doesn’t seem so big and nasty anymore. The monster under the bed is just another shadow.

These days, I don’t have the urge to moan on Mondays all the time. Sometimes I even sleep well on Sunday nights and enjoy my coffee in the morning. I think the change has to do with the fact that although I’m still burnt out and sometimes overworked, I have stopped letting that fact keep me from reaching for my other goals. I am finally making my tired ass plow onward in my out-of-work life anyway. That gives me hope.

But I still try to post a Monday Moan at least once or twice a month. Because when you can take your own boogie-men and use them to make others laugh and feel a little better, then they serve a purpose.

Moan on, my fellow Monday-haters. Then let’s get moving and kick the ugly wench in the arse before she beats US down.


About hawleywood40

Writer, Steelers Fan in Baltimore, Frequent Visitor to the Shot Fairy
This entry was posted in humor, Slices O' Life, Work and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Monday Moans

  1. Lafemmeroar says:

    This is a well articulated post! I understand that feeling of the Monday blues and yes it is comforting to know that one is not alone in their misery. But you have evolved your perspective and that’s inspiring. The grind of daily living can kick our tush to complacency … it hasn’t done that to you … keep on “kicking that ugly wench in the arse” you awesome crazy chick!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      As Mondays go, this last one wasn’t so bad. Especially since I stayed out late Sunday night, which usually brings on the meanest of Mondays. We do kick the ugly wench in the arse now and then, don’t we LFR? : )

  2. gojulesgo says:

    Great post, and Happy Monday! I mean…UNhappy Monday…

  3. Catie Rhodes says:

    >>But there’s also something to be said for acknowledging what sucks, as long as we do it in a way that reaches out to others rather than in a me-me-me-me-me sort of way.

    This is the best wisdom I’ve heard today. People love it when you can articulate a rant about something that is not me-me-me. Thanks for making me grin today.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      For almost everything that drives us nuts, there are others out there feeling at least kind of the same way. I think snarking about those things is what keeps our wheels turnin’ : ).

  4. Marcia says:

    That’s exactly how I used to feel, though the last 3 yrs of my job, I felt that way everyday. It did help to talk with my coworkers, who all felt the same. It was a glorious day when I walked out the final time, never to look back! Now I don’t have a horrible man bossing me around, I boss myself around to stay in a flexible routine…paradoxical, i know, but it works for me. Great post, Pam!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I’m lucky on the boss-front – no horror stories there at this stage. My burnout was mostly due to a crazy implementation at a time when we were understaffed and under-resourced. Glad that phase is over, and in a way, glad I went through it. I’m a lot more willing to say “no” when I’m buried in work now, and to hold on to my right to have a life, and actually USE my vacation days : ). One of my longer-term goals is definitely to be my own “mean” boss one day : ).

  5. Aurora says:

    Love the picture, Hawley! And, as LFR says so well, always your writing. That wench is on notice now! The unity of CCC’s will keep beating her back until she succumbs…besides the alternatives aren’t very attractive… other than lottery wins… off to buy a ticket… LOL

    • hawleywood40 says:

      The CCCs takin’ on Monday – the wench doesn’t stand a chance LOL : ). A lottery win would be an oh-so-beautiful thing, wouldn’t it : )? Happy Tuesday!

  6. tsonoda148 says:

    It’s kind of ‘freeing’ to admit Not wanting to go to work. I admit it every single weekday at 5 am when I’m reaching for my glasses, stumbling out of bed, and cussing at anything in my path. All I can say is thank goodness for Strong Coffee!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      So very true. I used to think feeling that way made me “lazy” or “selfish.” But really, so what? Me and almost everyone I know … it makes total sense that we’d rather be doing things at our own pace and stopping to smell the flowers a little bit rather than doing the stumble-cuss to the coffee pot. (I do the same thing, by the way, made even more comical by a cat trying to trip me while I do …).

  7. starzyia says:

    I think some negative humour is actually positive, because, lets face it we are cheered up by laughing, and it makes us feel more human to know that we aren’t the only ones struggling with a particular aspect of life.
    I will never be one of those folks saying ‘let’s turn that frown upside down’… when frowns can help me bring home the bacon!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      “I will never be one of those folks saying ‘ let’s turn that frown upside down’ … when the frowns can help me bring home the bacon.” Love that! There’s a reason the movie “Office Space” became such a hit … : ).

  8. marcialoyd says:

    Great post, I’ve always hated Mondays. They just plain suck! Sometimes it does us good to vent and complain and just put it out there. Heck, why not laugh about it? Otherwise, we may cry! lol.

  9. Misery sure does love company! But so does pleasure. I bet if youget in the habit of finding the bright side of being able to get up and have a job to go to, people will jump on that band wagon, too. Yeah, we all need a good rant every once in a while, but a little goes a long way.

    You write incredibly well. Don’t know how you found me (noticed you subscribed), but I’m glad you did, because now I have another great, entertaining blogger to follow. I just subscribed!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Great point Lorna – rants are easier (for me, at least) to make funny, but there’s humor in good stuff too even if it is more challenging to write. I found you on Lefemmeroar’s Crazy Chicks Club link page – I’m finding it a wonderful source of great blogs : )!

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