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Monday Love

What Mondays have to do with perspective, love, and our season in life.

Today is the first day of the week of Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you already have plans for Friday, February 14th 2020.

I remember the plans I used to have for Valentine’s Day. In high school I wore black. Something about reflecting my soul in mourning or some crap like that — I thought I was all dark and deep and twisty. Meh, maybe I was, but more likely I was just a frustrated teen, one of many. There were also the Valentine’s Day’s that involved me, my dog, my TV, my apartment, a lot of junk food and a bottle of wine. You know. Normal stuff.

Valentine’s Day involves a lot of feelings…feelings that can be dark and complicated.

Each day this week I will try to tackle a different aspect of love and involve different feelings. Today is a Monday, which is a day that many people might dread or despise. I used to work with theater companies and Monday was actually our day off. Think about it, you do performances on the weekends, but then you recover on Monday before you go back to rehearsals or performances.

I also worked at Starbucks at the time and often I would ask customers, “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” and of course often they would respond with something like, “Thank goodness it’s the weekend.” Which obviously was a dumb thing to say, I mean I was standing there working, I didn’t get the weekend off, but there you have it. People weren’t thinking about if it was a dumb thing to say. They were just happy to not be at work. I was happy when I wasn’t at work too. Every Monday, I would lay down on the couch the whole day and barely move…because I was working two jobs and seventy hours the rest of the week. I worked really hard and Mondays were the best days because they were the ones that I got to do whatever I wanted.

A lot of it comes down to perspective and our season of life. Mondays can be great; they can also be the worst. They are the first day to the start of a new week. You might be wondering what all this has to do with Valentine’s Day and love?

Valentine’s Day is about love. Right? But like I mentioned before, it can involve a lot of other feelings.

Frustration. Anger. Depression. Anxiety. Disappointment. Sadness. In fact, I have often heard Valentine’s Day referred to as SAD or Singles Awareness Day.

I am currently happily married to a husband who really loves me and is the most amazing man I have ever met in my life. So all of those feelings that I had from all of that time when I was single just magically melted away. Right?

It’s not that simple. Marriage is not simple or easy. It is complex and complicated and takes energy, patience, a lot of work, and the choice to love even when things are difficult. Just being in a relationship does not always quiet all of those feelings of hurt and insecurity.

Maybe I am bumming you out right now. You are thinking, “What? No, that’s not right. When I meet the person I am going to love for the rest of my life, it will be simple, it will be easy, and all I will feel is happiness.”

I feel loved. I have love. I am very blessed to be married to the man I love who loves me. And when I say he loves me, I mean he really truly loves me. Anyone who has ever met him knows that he is absolutely crazy about me. Sometimes I wonder why, but again, those are my own insecurities.

What I am saying is that a relationship, any relationship, does not magically heal and solve everything. I wish it did, but even the best relationships do not erase what has happened to us in the past.

Love is like a Monday. When it comes, it might feel scary, disappointing, and involve a lot of work. But it can also be amazing, wonderful, a fresh start, a way to jump back into life and realize, “hey, this is actually really incredible.” And like Monday, if it is real love, it keeps coming back. It will return to you, whether you ask for it or you don’t. Whether you deserve it or not.

Just like Monday, sometimes different times in your life it will mean different things. In my example before when I worked at Starbucks and a theater company, it was my day of rest and my sanctuary. When I worked full-time as a teacher, sometimes I loved Mondays because they meant the start of a new week, new lessons, new ideas and a day to try them out. Sometimes they were stressful and overwhelming. You get the idea.

Love is complex. At different times in every person’s life everyone will experience love in different ways. The relationships I have with family and friends has included a lot of love. But some of those relationships have had hurts and rough patches. That did not mean there wasn’t love there. In fact, often in my best relationships, there are the toughest arguments, disagreements, and the biggest opportunities to be hurt because of how much we cared about each other and what was happening between us.

Being in a relationship doesn’t solve all the emotional issues. Being single doesn’t mean that a person doesn’t experience real love. Getting candy and roses and giant stuffed bears on a special day is nice.

The first time I got flowers sent to me, was from my friend Vanessa. Why? Because I told her that I had never had flowers sent to me. It was the day after my boyfriend broke up with me. I was thirty years old, sitting on the floor in my classroom crying throwing myself a pity party and thinking about how he was the only boyfriend I had ever had. And it was over. I wondered if being in a romantic relationship was just not for me. I would be that spinster, that crazy lady with a lot of cats.

That was before I met my husband and before I fell in love. But even though that happened when I was single, that day is important to me because she was there for me and showed me that she cared about me. She was and is my friend. So when I tell you I get it, trust me, I get it. Being unhappily single was absolutely awful. I cried, I prayed, and I yelled at God that I was not happy with His plan for me to be alone and sad and single.

It really wasn’t about being single though, not really. It was the feeling of being unloved. And I was not unloved, in fact I was very loved by my family, friends, and God. But all I saw was a Monday that I was dreading. All I saw was what I was missing. I needed perspective and I know that God (and sometimes people) have to gently tap me on the shoulder and say, “Um, do you not see and realize that you have so much already?”

That doesn’t mean that being single is easy. Being in a relationship isn’t easy. Being engaged isn’t easy. Being married isn’t easy. Guess what. No relationship status is easy. There’s a reason why, “It’s complicated” was a relationship status on Facebook. They are all really complicated. That just happens to be life honestly. Movie love and romance novels are not real. But real love is something that when we have it, we need to appreciate it and protect it. Not waste it while looking for something that isn’t real. Sometimes that means starting with ourselves and how we treat ourselves. I hope we all will treat ourselves with love and compassion.

So whether you are happily in a relationship or happily single, be kind to yourself this week. You deserve love and happiness. Don’t wait for a person to fix you or to save you from your Mondays. Take Mondays and do what YOU want with them. You can give and receive love and you don’t have to wait for a perfect person to fix you. You don’t need fixing. You just need love like every person in the world. That doesn’t have to be romantic love.

I bet someone in your life is blessed by your love. Even if they don’t say thank you, I want to say thank you. I’m proud of you for being kind and loving to others.

Happy Valentine’s week everyone. You deserve love. Make sure you show someone a little love this week. Including yourself — because you deserve love.

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