Here comes Monday...

Monday.

You can hear the exasperated tone we all use when we force ourselves to say our least-favorite day of the week. We all feel it.

We all feel the drop in our shoulders when we realize the weekend is over. We all moan at the sound of our alarms, and reluctantly roll over to blindly search for the 'SNOOZE' button. Then, we lay there in bed throwing ourselves a pity-party - and use up more "getting-ready time" to think up excuses that would allow us to call in sick.

Monday is a dreaded day, the worst day of the week, the day we think we can out-smart and find a way to make it pass faster (We all know that never works). 

Why is it that Monday's are this way? Why don't we see it as a day to start fresh, a day that gives us second chances, a day to move on from the past week and build something new and good? Instead, we drag all our junk from the previous week with us, and gripe about all the to-dos that "MUST get done" this week. After coming off a weekend, we should be feeling more rejuvenated, more encouraged and more than ready to get to work and show some love to our coworkers (or bosses or family). Unfortunately, I can't give you an example of a time when I've ever done that. 

My girlfriends Allison and Rachel from The Nook Girls, asked if I would participate in their "Make Monday's Matter" challenge. Every week, the duo thinks of a way to impress some good on their coworkers, friends, family or even strangers. Today, the prompt was: Buy a stranger or friend coffee. After reading the prompt, I chuckled to myself. I remembered a time over four years ago when a concept so simple was so foreign. Could something as simple as a cup of coffee really change my poor attitude?

While I was studying abroad in Paris, I remember the looks my friends and I would receive when we were carrying around our Starbuck's lattes. We would speed-walk past hundreds of cafes with locals filling up all of their outside seating. Don't Europeans love coffee?! Why were they looking at me like I was, I don't know... American?

I realized that there was a big difference between the paper cup of coffee I held in my eager hands and the ones sitting delicately atop porcelain saucers on the Parisian bistro tables. I would run in to Starbucks, get my non-fat Caramel Macchiato to go, and rush to class. The more cafe's I speedily walked by, the more I realized how differently I was approaching life. I watched as people ordered and chatted with friends. Some sat alone and read the newspaper or would watch the people of Paris pass by them (they probably saw a big blur and felt a brisk breeze when I hurried by them). There was no rush and no hurry to get to work. They had made time to wake up, shower, get dressed, walk to their favorite cafe and sit and chat with the people they loved (There were no iPhone's in sight either). When their time with each other or the newspaper was done, they would walk to work and have a productive and fulfilling day. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying American's don't sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or don't make time to spend with friends, but I came home realizing I was an American who didn't. Even though I had always loved sipping on a cup of coffee, it was the experience and the relationships that I could have been building that I desperately lacked. I needed to take time to slow down and make time for what was important, instead of rushing in and out of life. I was a blur.

The moral of the story is, let's celebrate Monday's like we celebrate every other day of the week (Also - NEVER underestimate the power of a cup of coffee). It's amazing how sitting down to appreciate a simple cup of joe with a friend can completely restructure a day. Ever since my stay in Paris, I've used coffee dates to genuinely engage with friends and I've realized how much of an impact those moments have had on me. (It's like that children's book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. If you buy your friend a coffee... only good things will come out of it!) This morning, I treated a friend to coffee at one of my favorite cafes with absolutely no time constraints. Afterwards, I could see drastic changes in my soul: my day begins with a positive attitude, I have a better outlook of my coming week, and I feel more connected and loved and encouraged by my friends. I'm pretty sure she felt the same way too. 

So let's make more of our Mondays. Here's my own Monday challenge for you: Find a way to make someone else's Monday memorable. Purposefully schedule a coffee or dinner date with a friend you know needs it. Let's use Monday as a day to slow down, surround ourselves with people who lift us up, and pump ourselves up for the week ahead. I guarantee if you begin doing that, you'll start looking forward to your Mondays.

Let's begin to #makeMondaysmatter