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Injecting Fun into Monday with MAMA

This is going to be a quick post because, the truth is, this month my to-dos runneth over. In fact, the past few weeks, I’ve been waking up on Monday mornings consumed by this stressful thought: How am I going to get it all done this week? Or, rather, How am I going to get it all done without losing my mind?

Not the most uplifting way to start the week.

That’s why I loved Gretchen Rubin’s recent blog post about improving Monday mornings. (You may have seen it; we included it on Five-Bite Friday). As we’ve mentioned before, Hollee and I are both big fans of Gretchen’s bestselling book, The Happiness Project, and we both read it while we were writing the “happiness chapter” in Good Enough Is the New Perfect. Gretchen has some Secrets of Adulthood that resonate particularly well with us, like: “You don’t have to be good at everything” and “People don’t notice your mistakes and flaws as much as you think” and “What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you — and vice versa.”

She also has a personal commandment we both like: “Act the way I want to feel.” Confession: I have not been acting the way I want to feel on Mondays.

So, with that in mind, I read through Gretchen’s tips and vowed to put some of them into practice. She starts by suggesting that we ease ourselves into Monday mornings. I’m not sure I have time for too much easing, but I did vow to give myself 10 minutes to read the New York Times Magazine while drinking my coffee Monday morning. That’s a start, right? I’m also going to “have some fun” and “give myself something to look forward to.” I plan to accomplish these things by having a glass of wine on my front porch with my neighbors before dinner, assuming the weather is nice. The kids can ride their scooters, I’ll catch up with my friends. And I’ll look forward to it while I’m editing chapters all day.

Becky vows to end her day (if the weather's nice) with a glass of wine right here

Gretchen also suggests we make the most of the morning, and I plan to do that, too. Checking a bunch of things off my list will definitely improve my mood — and should reduce the feeling that I can’t possibly get everything done.

One more thing: I am going to take time to enjoy the things I have to do today. Because here’s the funny thing: Even though I have a lot to do most Mondays, it’s all pretty much stuff I like doing. I like editing the chapters in this book, which is easy to forget when I’m consumed with getting it all done. I love this book, and I love that Hollee and I are bringing it to life right now. (I should probably write this in big letters and tape it to my office door, just so I remember).

Another fun thing about Mondays: My workday is shorter than usual because that’s the day I help lead the “Green Team” at my girls’ school. We’re turning some unused outdoor space into a garden right now, and that means I’ll get to spend at least 30 minutes Monday out in the sun with a bunch of kids, digging in the dirt. After that, K and I will take a walk together while B has her piano lesson, then B and I will hang out while K has her guitar lesson. Then, hopefully, I’ll have a glass of wine.

Not bad. Especially for a Monday, right?

Anyway, I’ll let you know how my experiment in Morning Adjustment to Monday Attitude (MAMA) goes. In the meantime, here’s a MAMA challenge for YOU: What can you do differently to improve your Monday? Let us know what you plan to do — and then check back on Talk-Back Tuesday and tell us how it went.

Oh, and Happy Monday! — Becky


  1. I really need to feel more prepared for Monday by making sure the dishes are done, the laundry is put away, there is food for breakfasts and lunches and we’re ready to start a new week. If I feel behind on Monday morning, it seems to affect the flow of the whole week.

  2. admin says:

    That’s a great suggestion, Jennifer. When I don’t start Monday “fresh” — with the house sort of in order, laundry and dishes done — I feel the same way. It should make my experiment tomorrow particularly interesting: I haven’t done anything except write and edit this weekend, which means my house won’t even be “sort of” in order. I’m going to try not to care. Or maybe close my eyes, or something … — Becky

  3. I generally don’t suffer on Mondays…Saturdays are the days that I need to prepare for.  I like to focus myself by taking my day by conquering one of my son’s “nap cycles” at a time.  If I can get through one, I can do the next…etc.


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