Monday, February 09, 2009

If your Mondays are awful (and everyone's are) blame the school system

When I first awaken pre-dawn on a Monday morning I am struck by a brief (very brief) thought of maybe slashing my wrists.

It’s OK. I’m not really suicidal at all, but there is something about a Monday that brings about the impulse of not really wanting to face the realities of the day. Because, in so facing, one must also accept the realities of the week that ensues.

I think maybe more people off themselves on Monday than on any other day of the week. I have no statistics to bear this out, but it makes sense to me.

Two days of the week cause the greatest angst in western society: Monday and Sunday. And Sunday’s are truly stressful for many. Sundays can be tedious and, in a seeming contradiction, feel both long and short.

“There’s something about a Sunday that makes a body feel alone,” wrote Kris, and rarely has a truer sentiment been penned. Sundays are inclined to be lonely, especially for those who are socially isolated. Sundays also put us in anticipation of Monday, however, and I think that is the real vileness of the day.

Years ago I wrote a column no the wretchedness of Sunday; on the angst that starts to bubble up early in the afternoon and increases in magnitude as the hours crawl (or speed) by. Anyway for that virtually throwaway column I received more mail and phone calls than any other I ever wrote. Everybody, it seemed, could relate to it.

One guy wrote that the afternoons were so bad he found it prudent to begin drinking at about 2 p.m. so that by bedtime he was effectively numbed.

Yet all of this Sabbath distress, I believe, is due to Monday anticipation. Sunday before vacation for example, doesn’t cause boils in the soul. Such a Sunday can be a fine day. No, it is because Sunday is the day prior to the week’s demands.

Personally, I blame all of this adult misery on the schools. A word of advice here, if you are ever in doubt about something to blame for all that is wretched in your life, blame the schools. It’s an easy cheapshot and who could argue with you? Prior to being frogmarched up to first grade, most of us had decent Mondays, filled with play and frolicking. Then a hideous reality was imposed on us and life became less charming. It would always remain less charming. Yep, blame the schools and the ineffective farce of public education.

After that, Mondays are bound to be bad for the remainder of your life. Take my case, for example. Monday is essentially my least challenging workweek day. I don’t have to go into the office for client counseling until Tuesday, and I have a day before me in which I can catch up on writing projects, puttering in the garden, maybe planning something splendidly tasty for dinner, or having coffee with a friend.

My Monday is all of those things, yet I still have this big hand twisting my gut, just because it’s Monday. Monday merely reminds me of all the things I vowed to get to during the week and hadn’t addressed the previous week due to such important causative factors as laziness and procrastination. Consequently, my Mondays leave me feeling immersed in guilt because I know I will decide that the entire challenging Monday task I should address will be deferred until Tuesday.

So, here I am, late morning Monday, writing this blog rather than turning my hand to a freelance writing project that is three-quarters finished but that I don’t feel like getting back to, even though I won’t be paid until I finish it.

Goddamn Mondays.

I blame the schools.



Blogger Daisy said...

I hear you Ian! And seriously, if you want the Sunday blues, try going to a boarding school, and being dragged back to school on Sunday night. Even Saturdays are depressing then! Happy Monday! x D

10:58 AM  
Blogger Dumdad said...

And I blame the schools for the missing apostrophe in your photo. (It's a disgrace!)

11:05 AM  
Blogger thailandchani said...

When I was still in the workforce, I hated the first day back. And the second. And the third. Etc.

Now that I'm retired, I barely know what day it is. I've automated most of my bills. I refuse, refuse, refuse to live s life that is consumed by busy work, problem-solving and frustration.

That's what I couldn't stand most in the workforce. It never ended. I grew to love and understand Sisyphus. :)


1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a minute to check out some research on this - a California study showed the greatest number of Suicides on Mondays, a Swedish study on Sundays. Interesting, huh?

Sunday evenings I don't care for so much, even though I like my work. By Thursday evening, I'm pretty happy. I blame the universe for not magically making me independently wealthy.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

Boils in the soul!!! I thought I was the only one who felt that way on Sundays, all through my childhood. You nailed it.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

Boils in the soul!!! I thought I was the only one who felt that way on Sundays, all through my childhood. You nailed it.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Rositta said...

Personally I've never had a problem with either day, if I get blue the day of the week doesn't seem to matter. My husband on the other hand, absolutely detests Tuesdays and anything bad will always happen to him on that day. I sure hope tomorrow is a good day though, he has to drive me to a very important appointment...ciao

5:51 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Monday mornings are hell. Oh yeah.

6:16 PM  
Blogger geewits said...

When I used to work I coined the term "Sunday night insomnia." Most people experience it and I believe it is a direct result of the Monday Dreads. I don't blame the schools in my case because I was one of those strange kids that loved going to school. My parents were so random I think I liked the structure. And when I worked I think the Monday Dreads were caused simply by the fact that I would be doing the same thing 5 days in a row. Repetition makes my brain ache.

10:46 PM  
Blogger meggie said...

I so agree.
Even though we are retired, we both dislike Mondays!
I don't think Asian countries have the same angst about Mondays, because they essentially conduct business every day of the wee. Just a thought, as that is how we found it to be on a visit to Thailand.

10:51 PM  
Blogger The Kanji Queen said...

It was Monday yesterday.
And all I can say is, "ugh"!

Lol. Ever since I started a new year (I'm now in Year 10) and therfore have a different timetable, I've hated Mondays.

And I always thought Thursdays were the best out of all of 'em, but now I'm not so sure...

Sundays...well, as soon as I wake up on a Sunday it's like "Pack, pack, pack"!

That's what coming from a broken home will do to ya. :-(

I guess I have a sort of hate of going BACK to school. After the holidays, I mean. (After weekends also, but I thought that's obvious.) It's so damn tedious!

Oh and this is to Dumdad: I so agree with you! There are a hell of a lot of things teachers don't teach, or don't even KNOW these days. :->

Sorry about the rant guys, but Ian, great post. Keep up the good work, and now I feel sorry for myself :-)

Irene from

11:51 PM  
Blogger French Fancy said...

Now that I've prematurely retired in France Mondays no longer hold that sense of worry and fear that they used to. Well, maybe not fear but that sense that my carefree weekend persona would shortly be coming to an end.

3:03 AM  
Blogger Dr. Deb said...

I have Mondayitis each and every Monday. That is unless I am on vacation!

4:10 AM  
Blogger kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

Yesterday was Monday, but I was home, sick in bed. Today is Tuesday, but it feels like Monday, and I still feel sick, but not sick enough to be home. *sniff*

woe is me.

i'm going to go hide under my desk for a little while.

9:29 AM  
Blogger jmb said...

Even retired Monday seems to have all kinds of nasty connotations.

I usually have a list of things to do regarding contacting this business or that and Monday the offices all open again and I am forced to make the phone calls or feel guilty about procrastinating.

11:06 AM  
Blogger lady macleod said...

I have another consideration for you - I'm not Christian and I had tutors - so the school theory may hold out but I'm betting on all that Calvinistic guilt myself :-)

I had never run into this phenomenon until the chap I am currently sharing life with "showed back up" (yes, yes, the story is coming - first I have to find out if the bastards in white coats are going to carve me up, and not in a good way).

What I am saying, is that I have never had the Monday or the Sunday angst and had no understanding of it until recently, but apparently it is JUST AS YOU SAY.

What a wacky ole' world Ian.

6:41 PM  
Blogger lady macleod said...

OH nice shot Dumdad! But I'm not proud that I'm geeky enough to have read "Eats, Shoots, & Leaves" twice! yikes

6:42 PM  
Blogger Deb S. said...

Blame the school system. I like that. :-) I also love the graphic.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I hope you have finished that article now it is Wednesday evening. I know what you mean about Mondays.

1:57 PM  
Blogger beansidhe said...

I like your website Ian. I'm new to blogging, but I adore writing. This Monday was a horrible day. I swear all Mondays she have the number 13. haha.

I like movies like the Longest Day, and the Widowmaker. I would have become a journalist if not for my 10 month sojourn in a press room putting papers together. I love writing and anthropology. I have a picture from when I graduated college back in 2007 that I will post later. I'm not sure how to add gadgets or get and RSS feed on my blog. I'm still learning.

Talk to you later,

5:08 PM  
Blogger Ashley & Ben Erlichman said...

Although I am studying to be a teacher, I love your statement that we should just blame the schools!

1:22 PM  

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