Welcoming Monday (even if the laundry isn’t finished)

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

-Oprah Winfrey

I decided last week to make a change in the way my family started our week.

Every Monday morning is the same. Alarms go off, nobody gets up but me, I slink from room to room waking children and my husband. Everyone eventually slumps into the kitchen; late and slow and groggy. The words, “I hate Mondays” or some variation are muttered at least 4 times. Everyone drags through a cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal, searches through the as yet un-put-away laundry for clothes, gets dressed and heads off in separate directions, to start their week on an ultra low note.

Any wonderful we collected over the previous week or weekend seems to have vanished into thin air. Just like “pooof” it never happened. And there doesn’t seem to be anything to look forward to when it’s cold and dark outside and the whole, long week is staring you in the face.

And…this is not the way I want to do Mondays. It’s not the way I want to do life. I want to be joyful at the prospect of the limitless possibilities of the week. I want to be raring to go! So I came up with a simple new Sunday night ritual that helps move our mindset out of, “Ugh Mondays” into “OK…we got this.”

Family meal time is hard to come by. Especially with multiple businesses and busy kids. It’s rare for us to sit down together for an actual meal more than 2 or 3 times a week. Sunday evening feel like the right time to gather, have a nice meal (with cloth napkins instead of paper towels) and talk about GRATITUDE.

This past Sunday I came to the table with a big jar, a box of markers and little slips of paper. I said we each had to talk about, then write down, at least three things that we were thankful for in the past week. I wanted to point out moments during the week that I was grateful for; like when my son asked me to help him study for his social studies test or how proud I was when I saw my daughter (who had been injured earlier in the week) doing leg lifts with a big determined smile on her face in a makeshift gym in our bathroom tub. Or how I was really grateful for my husband who is trying to make some big changes in his life.

What I didn’t expect was how much fun everyone had with it. How many things they were grateful for; from fun playdates with friends, to a warm, safe bed, to the cherry tree blooming in our yard. It was like the previous week came alive and danced in our minds and it was magical.

So we put our gratefuls into the jar and set the plan to do it every Sunday night. On New Year’s or maybe sometime when we need a lift, we’ll go through the jar and be grateful all over again.

Monday morning came and although it wasn’t perfect (I still hadn’t finished the laundry and at least one member of the family needed to be awakened despite multiple alarms) there was a bit of a swing in our step, a bit more bright “Good mornings” and a bit less grumbly “I hate Monday” talk. There were even a couple jokes and smiles. And a few hugs. We were still basking in the afterglow of all that grateful and it made all the difference in the world.


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