This Monday was an anomaly, rare as a total eclipse or a four day work week. Monday’s are usually an occasion for weeping and gnashing of teeth, for lamenting over yet another weekend that flew by, for groaning in agony at the next stretch of five work filled days looming ahead. But, as I mentioned, this Monday was different.
1. I managed to get one child to elementary school, the other child to daycare and myself into the office by 8AM! Yeah, I clocked in at 8:04 but I was in the building by 8. A timekeeping system was launched last year. After working here 5+ years without any kind of clock in/out system and pretty much coming and going and monitoring my own time, it was met with much disdain and eye rolling and ushered in a new era of early morning anxiety. Granted, getting three people from bed to commute in 45 minutes flat has always required a meticulously planned and executed routine that causes me to be anything but pleasant, especially for someone who has had a lifelong love affair with the snooze button. But somehow, this Monday, we were up, ready and out the door with military precision. I had to thank the girls for their cooperation as we sped off into morning traffic and, after all was said and done; I was sitting at my desk, peeling off my coat and preparing to head to the break room for my daily bowl of oatmeal at exactly 8:00! (There’s a four minute gap because this timekeeping system resides online and requires that my computer be up and running before I can get to the website to actually clock in. Just peachy!)
2. I got somewhat of a handle on what is typically a very chaotic day. When I tore out of the office on Friday afternoon, the stack of papers on my desk had no rhyme or reason. I skipped my usual end of the week ritual where I take stock of what was done and left undone, what needs immediate attention the next day, what can wait, etc. Well, it happened to be a very trying day and I never got around to it and when 5PM rolled around, I had to leave it and go. The PM routine is not as hectic but it still requires urgency as my school aged child must be picked up from her after-school program by 5:30PM and not a moment later or QUOTE Police will be summoned to escort her to the nearest station to wait for pick up UNQUOTE. (Wild!) So needless to say, things will be left undone if it means I’m going to be late hanging around doing them (which kinda makes that whole indispensable assistant, ready when you need me, come in early and stay late stuff not quite applicable to me and I struggle with that sometimes but hey . . POLICE will be summoned!)
So Friday, I left the piles untended and Monday mornings usually come sliding into port with a whole new hot mess of cargo all their own. But this time, not so much. I was able to sort out the mess, respond to all the urgent emails, return a few phone calls and knock out a stack of documents, all before lunchtime. This type of thing, this symphony of tasks playing out with the rhythm of a dance or a good martial arts movie, reminds me of why I love life in the trenches, makes me utter cliché remarks like, I was born for this, while I juggle a stack of papers in one hand and a perfectly brewed, delicately sweetened cup of coffee in the other.
3. I ate the meticulously prepared lunch that I brought from home. This may not sound like a big deal but I am the girl who has repeatedly stared into that boring brown bag with disgust and, no matter how deli-esque the sandwich turned out or how many cute little side items were thrown in, tucked it neatly back into the break room fridge to head over to the Chinese spot around the corner. They know me by name for crying out loud! That trumps a can of turkey sandwich any day in my book. Plus, I have this sense of entitlement about lunch where I feel that a delicious meal in the middle of a hard day’s work is somehow owed to me. The harder the day, the more delicious the meal should be!
So, eating in represents a tremendous feat of willpower for me. I’ve been on a roller coaster of health consciousness for going on three years now and I decided a few weeks ago that I really needed to buckle down, dig in and get it over with. Preparing a healthy lunch from home and just saying no to all the fantastic food spots within spitting distance of my office topped the list of priorities. Not only does it save money, it allows me to control my calorie intake while keeping me far away from the temptations lurking at the drive thru.
4. I resisted the temptation of the Jar o’ Goodness down the hall. I guess this is somewhat related to #3 but the scale at which I have become accustomed to chugging peanut M&Ms throughout the day warrants that this subject have its own bullet! My workmate down the hall has a cute little glass dish of constantly rotating chocolaty treats; Hershey’s miniatures, Reese’s cups and yes, peanut M&Ms. I’m usually in there a few times a day, chatting it up and shooting the breeze. The fact that she has this dish sitting there implies that I need to have a few. Then, there are the moments when I’m stressed and ready to blow, I have a few more. Then, there’s that time about an hour before lunch when I’m starving and I have a couple to hold me over. Basically, I had to sit myself down and point out that this constant chocolate eating was adding up to one big problem. Monday, armed with a few pieces of fruit and 100 calorie packs, I steered clear of the chocolate. Not one single piece ALL DAY LONG . . . that should have made the 6 o’clock news!
5. I skated past the PM crash. (Or should that be, I missed the Tired Train?) I usually plan ahead to have a pretty light Monday evening. I prepare a quick dinner for the girls, put them to bed then crash on the couch for a few hours of licking my wounds from the harsh day before going to bed early with the intentions of having a real work day on Tuesday. This Monday just wouldn’t let up with the wow factor. Right after work, I headed to the elementary school for an advisory council meeting that, despite going 45 minutes over the scheduled time, turned out to be very informative and productive and rather than crashing on the couch as usual, I decided to keep it going and clocked 3 miles on the treadmill before finally heading to bed still somewhat elated over the events of the day.
I don’t think I would believe that this day ever happened after a few months pass so I had to document it. Every now and again, life just ups and surprises us in a good way and totally changes our perception. Monday is officially out of the box, remixed as a day to perhaps look forward to rather than dread. I may never spend another Sunday evening throwing a tantrum on my closet floor. Of course, the rest of the week has been packed with antics of all sorts including me falling asleep at a red light on the way to work and my laptop crashing and going off the IT hospital where it’s listed in critical condition but somehow, that Monday just seemed to make it a little more bearable.