Today is a Monday, at least in this time zone. It has little significance for me since I retired, as one day of the week is pretty much like any other now. In fact, I have only just realised that it is Monday.
There was a time when I had that ‘Monday’ feeling. When the precious weekend seemed to fly by so fast, and I enjoyed reading the massive Sunday papers whilst still in bed drinking coffee. But that was long ago, and stopped in 1980, when I began working shifts. I worked shifts for the next thirty-two years, until a week before I retired, in 2012.
That meant quite a few Mondays were not working days for me. Some were spent in bed, after working all night on Sunday, and others were included in blocks of up to four days off, after working for up to sixty hours previously.
There is a certain smugness about watching the world prepare for the dreaded ‘Monday morning’, but that is dampened by knowing that you will be at work the next weekend, when those same people are planning trips away, barbecues in the garden, or dinner parties with friends.
Because nobody wants to go out on a Monday, just because it happens to be your day off. Nobody has parties on a Monday, or appreciates you popping round in the evening, when they have just had a tiring day at work, and have to do the same tomorrow. Being a shift-worker can be a lonely existence, even more so if you are married to someone working the regular nine-to-five.
You have to re-think those Mondays. Make the most of going to places when they are quiet, and all the children are at school. Hit the shops on what is often the quietest day of the week, or go to museums when you might be the only visitor that morning. Mondays can be embraced, instead of being dreaded.
My Mondays in Beetley now mean something of a big ‘day out’ for me. That is the day when I go to the supermarket, and do the ‘big shop’. I get there before the mums have collected the kids from school, and after the large groups of elderly shoppers have gone home to enjoy tea and cakes. I can wander around in uncluttered aisles, and collect my items from the list unhindered by crowds. And I can always find a handy parking space too.
I no longer have to go to bed early, to get up for work on Tuesday. So if I want to, I can drink some wine in the evening on a Monday, and stay up late to watch TV, or read a book.
It is nice to be able to put Mondays behind me. Another benefit of being able to retire at an age when I am still able to be active and alert.