If we could take a poll about the popularity of the days of the week, Monday would turn up as the least favorite day. Many people dread Mondays; others just want to get through each Monday. A lot of people simply don’t want to encounter Mondays.
When we look objectively at Monday, we note that it is just the name we have arbitrarily assigned to a day of the week. As a matter of fact, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, epochs, and so forth are all human-invented concepts. Monday only exists in our minds.
How do I think the idea that Mondays are awful came about?
The easy answer is that Monday is when most of us return to work or school because the weekend is finished. We think of weekends as the days we are allowed to be our most authentic selves. Saturday, especially, is our day. Monday is the beginning of the stretch of time that we spend toiling for someone else’s agenda.
This hypothesis has meaning to me, personally. I think back to childhood when Mondays were not my least favorite day. That dubious honor went to Sundays. Sunday was the day we were awakened early, put on our nicest clothing, then we were subjected to Sunday School and church services. Worst of all, we were not allowed to express our displeasure about this weekly chore because we were taught that society frowns upon such opinions.
I used to like Mondays because I enjoyed going to school. (The only part of school I hated was phys-ed.) School was where social-life was most vibrant and real. School satisfied my endless curiosity about things. I didn’t dislike school until continuous exposure to the social norm of hating school eventually rubbed off on me. That means I was informally taught to hate Mondays. Yet, Monday hate took second place to my dislike of Sundays.
During my working life, I held jobs that did not conform to the standard work week. My part time job at the supermarket took place from Thursday through Monday. Tuesdays and Wednesdays were my free days. That meant that my Mondays felt like other people’s Fridays. Thursdays were the days I least enjoyed. Add to this, sometimes my work schedule began on Sundays. That meant Sunday was my personal Monday.
During most of my life, Saturdays and Sundays were working days. In the last years of my formal working career, Tuesday was my official day off, so Wednesdays became my personal Mondays. Even though Mondays were my personal Fridays, I couldn’t help but experience other people’s Mondays as their personal Mondays. This diminished my enjoyment of Mondays as my Fridays. The days I should have felt optimistic and happy about the approaching time off, everyone else felt glum or grumpy about having to return to work.
Add to these reasons, I had adopted the bad habit of sleeping in an extra hour or two on my day off. This practice messes with our biological clocks. When we return to our necessary wake times for work or school, our bodies rebel. When I normalized bedtime and wake times seven days per week, my overall well-being increased greatly. There was less dread of returning to work on Wednesdays (my Mondays).
The problem of day off versus work days lingered. There was the pleasure of a day spent on personal tasks and relaxation versus the regimented, mandatory days at work. There is always the reality of having to earn a living to pay for food, housing, and the needs of raising a family. The mundane world snaps into focus on our Mondays.
The truth is, maybe a lot of our hatred of Mondays comes down to the drudgery of our jobs. I’m guessing that most people simply do not sincerely enjoy the work they are required to do. It begins with kids hating school and ends with people hating their jobs. Since school and work take up the lion’s share of our time, the hatred of these things becomes deeply engrained in our personalities.
When all things are considered, our perception of Mondays depends upon circumstances of society, our own attitudes, and lifestyles. I’ve never honestly hated Mondays the way I disliked Sundays and Wednesdays. This fact was easier to understand after I left the workforce.