35: My Mondays

35: My Mondays

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Time to Thrive

My Mondays

The best days are unplanned, random and spontaneous.

~Author Unknown

Six days a week, I devote my days to others. One day a week, I assert my independence by making sure I am responsible only to myself. I believe that time is the most valuable currency we have, which is why I am committed to giving myself time each week that’s all my own.

Tuesday through Saturday, I work. I have two part-time jobs and they are both social and customer service-oriented. One job is as a circuit trainer at Curves where my priority is making sure our members get a fantastic workout while having fun. This often means entertaining them while coaching, compelling (and sometimes outright cajoling) them into “working harder and really feeling the burn!” My other job is as an innkeeper at Channel Road Inn. There, in addition to baking homemade goodies, I greet the hotel guests and help them make plans for their time in Los Angeles.

That is time-intensive because it requires taking their individual desires and interests into account. Guests rarely tell me up front what they’re interested in. I don’t think they’re being evasive — I just think we all run at such frenetic speed in today’s modern world that we lose touch with who we are and what we like to do. Even when I ask what their interests are they often say, “I don’t know; we just want to do ‘California things’ and have fun.” But I know each person is an individual and there are hundreds of “California things” to do.

Through the course of conversation I hear patterns emerge. It becomes clear that some guests are the outdoorsy types, so I steer them toward surf lessons, horseback riding and hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains. Some guests need to be pampered and have calming experiences, so I steer them toward botanical gardens, day spas, yoga classes and meditation centers. Some people love amusement parks, so Universal Studios and Disneyland are the obvious recommendations. Others are intrigued by art and find fulfillment by going from museum to museum. To create a meaningful experience, it’s important to help the guests slow down and think about who they are and what activities they would really enjoy doing. I always remind them, “You can’t do everything, so it’s important to find the activities that would make you happiest.”

My Sundays are devoted to spending time with my husband. We are both homebodies so we love to pad around the apartment in our pajamas and do NOTHING for the entire day. We call Sundays “Pajama Days” because more often than not, we never even get out of our pajamas. Sometimes he wanders in and out of his music studio if he gets a song idea. Sometimes I sit at my computer if I get a writing idea. But for the most part we lie in bed, watch movies, read books, and order food to be delivered. Sundays provide a sanctuary of time for us to reconnect as a couple after a busy workweek.

And then there’s Monday! Monday is my day. For this one day, I am neither a circuit trainer nor an innkeeper. I am, of course, still a wife but, barring an emergency, I only consider my wants and desires on this one day. I assert my independence by doing whatever I want, whenever I want, from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep.

Most Mondays I’ll spend writing, but sometimes I just wander aimlessly through department stores, browsing and looking at all the beautiful dresses, shoes, jewelry and furniture the world has to offer. Such reverie! I love the way the various patterns and textures look and feel. Whether they’re in my size or not, I delight in running my hands through racks of dresses just to see all the beautiful colors whoosh by. I love to touch the zippers and buttons on the shoes and purses. I like to peruse jewelry, especially pearl jewelry. I can get lost for hours looking at furniture and imagining which pieces I’d buy if I ever won the lottery and could build my dream home.

Sometimes I’ll go out to eat by myself and sometimes I’ll meet a friend for lunch. Either way, it has to be a restaurant that offers vegetarian options because this is my day and I don’t want to have to struggle with the menu.

Sometimes I’ll stay home and play with my cat, Anaïs — or if she’s not in the mood, then sometimes I’ll go by an animal shelter and play with their cats. I have my favorites!

If I’ve gotten a coupon or a Groupon-type deal, I’ll go get a mani/ pedi. I love getting manicures and pedicures. The massage aspect is fantastic, and the end result looks great, but my favorite part is choosing which polish I want. Even though I almost always pick a neutral color for my toes and clear on my fingernails, some days I’m feeling sassy and have my toenails painted red!

Sometimes I’ll have a second “Pajama Day,” but this one all by myself. When I have a “Pajama Day” by myself, I sleep in the middle of the bed, use all the pillows and set the air conditioner to exactly the temperature I like.

Mondays (or My-days as I like to think of them) are important to me. I anticipate and plan them throughout the week and bring particular focus to them as I go to bed on Sunday. Just like with the hotel guests at Channel Road Inn, I know that to create a meaningful experience, it’s important for me to slow down, clear my mind, reorient my thinking to putting my needs and desires first, and to think about who I am and what activities I’d really enjoy doing the next day. I try to get re-centered, so come Monday morning I will be able to honor myself as an independent person with individual tastes and desires.

Not everyone likes to window shop or play with cats all day, but these activities relax me. Some people might not like to spend their day in front of the computer trying to write a story, but that’s often what I’m drawn to. Some people don’t like to eat alone at a restaurant, but I do — so I do. As I plan my Mondays, I always remind myself what I tell the hotel guests, “You can’t do everything, so it’s important to find the activities that would make you happiest.”

I know we can’t all have an entire day to ourselves each week. My friends who are parents tell me that it is an incredible luxury. Even so, I hope we can all find at least a few hours each week to assert our independence and do whatever we feel like doing. It is unbelievably freeing and empowering to re-remember that. Even if you are a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, or a spouse — you are also an independent, free-spirited, unique individual with idiosyncratic wants and desires that deserve to be listened to and honored.

~Rebecca Hill

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners