Seven (??!) weeks into the community quarantine, I put my foot down and told myself: take your Mondays back.
Context: I have work on most weekends, and I’ve come to enjoy it. I “slow down” on Monday mornings. It’s a bit comforting to think that I’m not one with the rest of the world who’s stuck in traffic and/or stressed on Monday mornings.
To say that I’ve been struggling to adapt to the “new normal” wouldn’t be fair. I’m waaay worse. For the first three weeks, I was in denial, and I let myself be in that stage. (Kasama naman sya sa five stages of grief, diba.) Holy Week was also bad. I tried to cram as much stuff that needed my attention as I could before Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, since I wanted to observe Holy Week still. I felt so scared and so anxious during the Holy Week actually, as being not that busy did not do me any good. The next two weeks after Holy Week were also a bit of a blur, but I also felt that my heart has slowly let go of the comforting, denial phase. So this week (the 7th week of the ECQ), I took my Mondays back.
I binged the last few episodes of House of Flowers (Season 3 Just dropped on Netflix) and I let it stretch until the wee hours of Monday morning. By the time that I was done with the last episode, I was aghast. And that made me stay up for about an hour more. The thing is, I have a tita bodyclock. No matter what time I fall asleep, I’ll be awake before 7. So kahit na late/early morning na ’ko natulog, dilat na ‘ko by 7. Then I remembered that it was a Monday. So I let myself have a few more hours of sleep, and I got up by 11-ish. It felt like it was my usual Monday. I also felt less lost. It’s going to sound cheesy and a lot more tita-like, but I guess this is the time to REALLY make the small things counT. I’ve always been a let’s-count-the-small-things type of person, I zoom in on the teenyyy tinyyy details, even when I’m not supposed to, which is why it takes me forever to finish commissioned works. (Walang pumapasa sa akin, harhar.) I sent letters to a few friends over the weekend and I’ve gotten quite a string of good replies! I sent something about magic, about how it’s always in you/us, even if during tough times like these, when nothing seems certain and it feels as if all that you hold dear seems to have been taken away from you. I’ve sent all those letters talking about magic, but really, it’s me who needed the reminder.
Reinstating my Monday, I guess, is how I found magic, I guess. Little things, no? If you’re reading this, be it by mistake or by pure boredom (Thanks, ECQ!), I wish to share to you what I’ve read from Emily Flake’s “Molly and the Unicorn” in longreads.com: ”And yet: this new sense of capability is rich and intoxicating and a delightfully weird surprise. I recognize, of course, that these bones will be dust someday no matter how I manage to use them while they’re mine, and that a good week can turn into a bad year just as easily as anything. But I want this grace and power with a swooning desire that feels very much like love. Maybe this is a truth that doesn’t often reveal itself to the young, or the rich, or the beautiful — that you don’t have to sit under some dumb tree and wait for magic to come to you. You work, you fight, you learn, and every once in a while, you’ll look into a mirror and realize you’ve made your own magic.“
I urge you to read it! And I wish that you’d also find the time to win the magic back, just in case you’re like me, who seems to have lost some of it. I was such a Debbie downer for the past few weeks, and I enjoyed it. I mean, it’s easy to be down, no effort needed. But it sucks the life out of you, and even if you’re wearing a face mask, the absence of joy and delight will show. I hope this week will be magical for you too. I don’t know how you plan to do it, but go for it. Let yourself sleep longer, go and drink some more wine, just let yourself do the things you’d usually enjoy, period.
Take your Mondays back, too.