I used to make fun of my Grandparents.
My Grandma would tell anyone who asked, “Your Grandpa gets up at 6:30. He takes his walk, gets the newspaper, makes coffee, and works the crossword puzzle. I get up at 8:00. By that time he’s mostly done with the puzzle and have my coffee and toast--just the heel of the bread.”
She could lay out their entire day, right down to when she would lay out my Grandpa’s Pj’s. They loved their routine.
I, on the other hand, would listen to her story for the seventy-second time and scream to myself in my head that I would never let a routine tie down my life! I will live freely and day-by-day, wherever the wind takes me! Life’s an adventure! And so on and so forth, until I got tired of speaking in exclamation points to myself.
But then, my school-aged children began having Mondays off for holidays.
I may not be quite where my Grandparents were, but I like to refer to Mondays as my day of Domestic Recovery. I use that day to clean up all of the spontaneous adventure from the weekend and do all of the planning for the week. I clean, shop, prep, chop, wash, dry, play, fry, stack, cook, and sit back and look at how, for at least 30 seconds, I have life in order.
But when my routine of the week gets thrown off by these extra people that I love so dearly hanging around, nothing gets done. And suddenly it’s Tuesday and I’m not ready for anything. In my head I’m screaming again with exclamation marks about how we can’t live spontaneous lives of adventure and fun if I don’t have my day of Domestic Recovery to get everything ready! (I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, “Spontaneity is a meticulous prepared art.”) There’s no food in the house, no one has clean clothes, I’m grumpy, and chances are I will forget 2/3 of the things I’m supposed to do that week because I didn’t have my uninterrupted Monday routine to write them down.
Often have I dreamed of writing a petition to send to the President of the United States, filled with hundreds of billions of signatures of people who feel the same way I do about Monday holidays. And as much as I wish I didn’t need it, I will explain the importance of routine when trying to juggle a family. When there’s no Monday, Tuesday through Friday are practically catawampus to the point of abandon. Everyone is thrown completely off with extra-curriculars, I’m scraping together PBJ on stale bread, and everyone’s exhausted from trying to remember which day the trash is getting picked up.
Maybe someday I’ll find solace in waking up and knowing what day it is by grabbing the paper at 6:30, but for now, without my Mondays I don’t know when I’ll have time for anything, let alone drafting that petition.
Originally written 1.22.17