Monday, Monday, can’t touch that day. Songs have been written about it. Moan-day some people call it. The Eagle may fly on Friday, but to so many Monday is the absolute opposite, in terms of favored days. I think that I have shared with you already that I actually like Monday. I like the excitement of another day full of challenges. I relish that first cup of coffee at 4:30, and the second cup at 4:35. Come on Monday, I got you.
I am almost 60 years old. (I know, I know, sometimes I write like a teenager. Thank you 😉 Not too long ago I was listening to NPR and With A Perspective came on. It was a man talking about his father having cancer. And the phrase he used caught my attention. He said, “ . . . that his life was being measured by subtractions instead of additions.” Being a bit older, I can assure you, that the list of things I am no longer able to do is beginning to surpass those challenges left which I feel that I can accomplish. This understanding has given me something which I hope now, to give to you. Even though I am no longer able to scuba dive, or go sailing, or win the tequila drinking contest where I once was KING!, there is one thing that I can do and take joy in it. I love Mondays. I love the hard things because I know that I can outlast them. I have already outlasted so many hundreds of Mondays and I plan to outlast at least 1000 more.
“Tom, you sound so wise” (Well *cough* I suppose.)
This is not about wisdom . . . or maybe it is. If wisdom is born of reflection and experience then let me share that small portion of it that I own. Today may be Monday but rest assured, Tuesday will come, as will Humpday and the all the rest that follow. It is true that for some, it may not. Some of us ‘World Citizens’ may not survive until summer. In my heart and in my head, I am sad. We may lose their uniqueness, but we will remember them. We will remember them in that certain turn-of-phrase they employed, or the way they walked when in a hurry, or that stupid Dad joke they always told, or maybe just the way they made us feel when they smiled at us. In any, and all events we will remember them and, we WILL survive.
Doctor Fauci has, in what I term as the most gentle and fatherly way, informed us that Home Quarantine will last until the end of April. Almost forever and a day. Nope, not true, I say. Not forever. So many Aprils I have is seen come and go, and I venture many more will do so before I am gone. But now we are in the thick of it for sure. Now we have to knuckle down and work our plans, our routines. It is said that it takes 3 days to kick the sugar craving habit, 14 days to create a habit of behavior and 66 to 67 repetitions of a new skill until it becomes second nature. Not many things in life happen all at once. Things take time. The road of 1000 miles begins with the first step, and then the next step and then the next.
As I am want to live from poem, to precept to speech; I will share one of my favorite Let’s-dig-in-and-get-this-done speeches. It was delivered by Al Pacino in the movie, Any Given Sunday. His team was down at half time, the owner of the team was betting on them losing so she could move the team and make a fortune. The team moral was in shambles. Everything was against them. The only thing left to do was to fight. Fight for every little inch. Fight until at the end of the day all those inches add up to a win.
We are now in a battle for inches. Getting out of bed. Getting dressed. Cleaning the house, doing the dishes, answering emails, working in the garden, preparing meals, calling friends, going to sleep to wake up and do the same all over again. Inches. Every day just a few more inches. While we must be cautious for sure, we cannot let fear grab hold of us. We must trust in the knowledge that good hygiene, avoiding concentrated gatherings and practicing proper social distancing will carry us through. These techniques are not the flashy Hail Mary passes that are thrown in desperation at the end of losing games. No, this is the ground game. The hard game. The one where we fight for inches. The opponent? Boredom and Despair. Formidable allies to be sure but proven to be, defeatable.
Now is the time to make the full adjustment to this New Normal. Take this time to enjoy the lack of commute, the freedom in your daily routine and the amazingly blue and fresh sky. Take this time to invent.
Any Given Sunday Speech: https://youtu.be/9rFx6OFooCs?t=3