“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson
Two years ago I was in a meeting room, Monday morning, just before nine. I remember sipping on my second coffee of the day and swallowing yawns as I waited for everyone to show.
The chairperson arrived, a particularly intimidating woman who had been with the company for thirty years and held the reigns of both the finance and HR departments. No decision was made without her approval, even if you were the CEO.
I wished her good morning, and she asked how I was without actually making eye contact. I was middle management, I was tired, it was Monday; what could I say?
“I’m good—except for the fact that it is Monday, of course.”
She settled in her chair, focusing on piling up her folders, and said, “Really? I love Mondays.”
This caught my attention. No nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday employee likes Mondays, much less loves them! Was she being contrary on purpose just because she wanted to see what I would say?
Did she expect me to agree or defend my statement; or did she just like to disagree with everyone—an up is down/good is bad kind of person who likes to control the conversation?
Whatever the reason, I could not leave that statement hanging in the air. What could possibly be the reason to love Mondays?
I leaned in across the table. (She was at one end and I was at the other.)
“Wow, really?” I said. “You must be the only person I know who loves Mondays!” (See, I’m not crazy! You are!) “What do you like about Mondays?”
Her eyes rose slowly from towered metropolis of file folder she had constructed in front of her to meet mine.
OMG! She had an answer. I had called her bluff and now felt like I was in for a lecture. I slid back in my chair.
“Mondays are the start of something new. It’s a new week full of possibilities. I have five days to get things done, which feels better than the end of the week where I am rushing to complete thing before the weekend.”
She stared at me. Take that!
At the time I put a check mark in the box beside “crazy,” and while I did understand her position in theory, that was as far as I was willing to go.
The meeting started, and I filed her comment with all the other pieces of evidence in my mental folder: “Why No One Likes You.”
But it did plant a seed in my subconscious that has been watered time and time again, had taken root, and has begun to grow into something life changing.
What you think, causing what you feel, about something is just a matter of perspective, and sometimes, the script in our head runs on automatic for years, unquestioned, unchallenged. What if you flipped the script? What would it be like to challenge our thinking?
There is a great article written by Arthur Stone called “Mondays Aren’t as Blue as we Think” in the New York Times. It discusses the psychology behind why we perceive Mondays as the worst day of the week, despite evidence that we actually dislike all workdays equally (except Friday).
So how can we flip the script in our head?
Life happens in moments, strung together to make up a day, a year, a life.
Going to the dentist includes many pain free moments with no discomfort, yet I used to say I hated going to the dentist. Now I listen to meditation music in the chair and have many moments of relaxation and comfort while getting a tooth filled or a root canal done.
How you choose to write the script that runs through your head is completely up to you.
The catchy slogan “fake it till you make it” helps you rewrite your script in a different way.
I said to myself, “I will try yoga for a few weeks to see if I like it” and commenced hitting the gym twice a week to a Pilates/yoga/Tai Chi fusion class.
Each day the class was offered, I didn’t think about going; I got dressed, packed my bag, and went. You seldom regret trying something you want to do, and my new script reads, “I enjoy the feeling I have after going to the gym.”
Finally, I surrounded myself with friends, books, blogs, classes, doctors, and therapists who provide the support and guidance that resonates with this type of work. Each new encounter allows me to question my thoughts and feelings, trying on concepts like clothes, seeing if they are a good fit.
Connecting with yourself, your heart, and gut and soul and spirit is the most important thing you can do to help you with your rewrites.
This all may sound simplistic, especially in the light of tragedies in life, where we feel consumed by our emotions. But the truth remains, painful emotions are often interrupted by moments of compassion, love, hope, laughter, and faith. The painful ones are just so profound that we tend to remember them more, while the others slip through the cracks.
Flipping the script isn’t easy. But who else is more important than you?
As crazy at it may sound, I go to sleep each night excited for six in the morning when I roll out of bed (albeit groggily) to meditate, blog, or just watch the birds and check my e-mail.
Each day, each moment offers us the opportunity to flip the script, to be something completely different, and because new moments come along sixty times a minute, you are only a moment away from becoming exactly who you want to be.
Photo by Kevin Marsh
About Kristen Cavanagh
Kristen Cavanagh, teacher/librarian/mom/artist and Reiki Master/Brené Brown groupie/recovering Perfectionista and Queen of Good Parking Spaces blogs as part of her recovery from a 2012 black hole like life implosion. Her dream is to develop an online “School of Self Compassion” that will connect and support people who want to take steps to feel, be brave, love, trust and receive compassion.