By Michael Soter
Growing up, I hated Mondays. I hated school. I hated the days I had to go to school, come home and do homework, go to bed early so that I could wake up the next morning for a new day of monotony. All week, I looked forward to the weekend—a time with no responsibility, a time to watch television, a time to do nothing.
Later in life, when I was using heroin, all days were the same. It did not matter whether it was Saturday or Monday. If I had dope, it was a good day. If I didn’t, it was a bad day.
My perception of each day’s merits changed yet again when I first got to Beit T’Shuvah. I began to dread the weekend. Nobody was here. They were with their girlfriends and boyfriends, husbands and wives, at the beach or in the mountains. Monday would come and I would again be occupied by groups and comforted by friends.
Now that I have a job and a girlfriend, I again look forward to the weekend. I get to unwind from my job. I get to read. I get to watch movies. I get to relax.
There is nothing wrong with looking forward to the weekend. But why do I now dread Mondays and dislike Tuesdays? Why am I annoyed by Wednesdays and frustrated by Thursdays? Monday never did anything to me. Tuesday never stabbed me in the back. Wednesday never talked trash to me. Thursday never slept with my wife.
In order to live a happy, healthy, and productive life, I need to learn to look forward to each day, to find the unique quality present in each hour. I need to stop escaping to a specific time frame—thinking it will all be better in a few days. Today is a good day if I make it a good day.
Monday morning, I need to shift my perception, looking forward to the new week as an opportunity for growth, as a chance to add motivation to my purpose and invigorate my passion with a newfound vitality. Tuesday, I will do the work. Wednesday, I will make sure that my work is fresh and exciting. Thursday, I will help another person with something they are struggling with, something that I am in a unique position to help them with. Friday, I will look at what I’ve done, finish what needs to be finished, and I will TGIF, making sure that three days later, I don’t forget to TGIM.
So I challenge you: How do you make today special? How do you look forward to the present?