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Little Things

Mondays are some of the hardest days to get moving. There is something about Mondays that make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning or to get out to that start of the week funk. Regardless of how terrible or great your weekend is, Mondays always come as the beginning of the week.

What I find interesting is that as a child I LOVED Mondays. Like actually loved them. They were the first day back at school where all of my friends were and books upon books lay amongst the toys and letters. I was a voracious reader as a child. Even as the elementary school enthusiasm waned, I would still feel a moment of excitement when Monday came around. Here the week began anew. Even as I was bullied for being the adorable and wonderful fluffy nerd girl that wanted to be a cheerleader that I was, Mondays represented a day of renewal. A fresh start to prove to the cheer squad that even though I wasn’t the right age, didn’t have the style sense, the physical shape, or the memory to be a great cheerleader, enthusiasm could carry me alone.

I was so blessed to be in middle school before social media really took off. I realize now how much happens over the weekend. How, for so many of the kids that you see in school they’re being bombarded with nastiness over those free days of the weekend and Monday instead represents the first day that they have to face their peers. For me this dread of Mondays didn’t really emerge until I was in high school. Monday was the day of pop quizzes in both school and the social drama that I totally missed as my little nerd self. Then especially my mother’s old mantra, inspired by the Ignatian reflection, of reflecting on the good things three times a day would help me get through the day.

To clarify: I don’t think that focusing on the positive things will make the horrible, ugliness of bullying go away. Nor am I some Pollyanna figure that preaches what others SHOULD do to fight away Monday blues. Rather I want to explain how I can be my chirpy, happy little self on even a dreadful Monday. I’m not actually crazy…well at least not that way, there are plenty of other ways in which I’m quirky.

The Daily Examen is a prayer technique used by the wonderful Jesuit order inspired by Ignatius of Loyola. There are lots of rules and step by steps, but as a child my mother used to guide me through the kids version that I still use today. Basically every time I catch myself possessing my own personal rain cloud of negativity I take a brief moment, sometimes only 10 seconds, to think of something good. What I have discovered is inevitably like that classic cliché for me, what gets me through the day are those little things.

There is so much to delight in the very small things. Whether it be a quick email from my deployed boyfriend, a text from a longtime friend, a ray of sunshine, or honestly that cup of tea that tastes just right- those little moments often clump together for me to make a little trail of positivity. Those little things truly are wonderful some days. Sure it’s childlike and yes I recognize that for many these reflections seem very Pollyanna and I live in a world of privilege that allows me to experience these little joys. But they are little joys just the same.

And honestly some days there’s nothing like doing a little happy dance when my favorite song comes on, or smiling as a sunray warms my cheek. Somedays, even Mondays, all I need are the little things.

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Down in El Paso there lived a little girl who dreamed of the snow. She got to ND and now dreams of the sun.
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