Few people like Mondays. For many, the mere word causes us to groan loudly in protest, to slap the alarm in a desperate attempt to buy 15 minutes more of denial. For postponement of the inevitable. Monday signals the beginning of the work week–a time to shift from the lazy laid-back mentality of the weekend into the more focused productivity necessary to carry us through the next five days. We exchange comfortable clothes for workday attire; we pick up the responsibilities we so gladly abandon for Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps this shift is the reason I’ve chosen to write on Mondays, not because I have anything particularly riveting to say but because it helps me make that mental transition.
This particular Monday is the last one for 2013. Think about that for a moment. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve; Wednesday ushers in a new year, a blank calendar of days stretching out in front of us, full of opportunity and challenge. 2013, with its triumphs and failures, its joys and sorrows, is all but a memory. As we prepare to close that chapter, we stop and reflect. And we think about the coming year–mostly in broad strokes, like an outline, to give us a sense of direction, an idea of what we would like to accomplish. The details aren’t crucial at this point; those will be filled in later. Knowing where one is headed is important, however. Otherwise, we find ourselves adrift, rudderless in the swift current of life.
I find it significant that the New Year arrives during the Winter season, a time when the earth slumbers, a time of rest and renewal. We draw inward, escaping the cold. It is a time for stories, old and new, the sharing of traditions and creating new ones. We “hunker down,” mentally, reconnecting with our inner self. Life slows….just a little, just enough, perhaps, to allow us to catch our breath.
I dislike the word “resolutions;” like “rules,” it whispers seductively, telling us there’s wiggle room here. A way out, or a way to fudge. So….I don’t make resolutions. And I won’t ask if you do, or what they might be. As I write this, I pause to watch the birds at the feeder, busily gathering food for the day, fueling themselves on this bitterly cold morning. Birds give no thought to tomorrow; they live their survival one day at a time. While it’s overly simplistic to compare ourselves to birds, we would be wise to borrow a bit of that philosophy. To remember that nothing is guaranteed, that today is precious–even if it is a Monday.
I’ll conclude with this shot of a flicker, resting on the side of a hickory tree, with the hope that your time of rest will be a productive one.