Monday, Our Favorite Day of the Week

A few weeks back, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the mountains in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. A light breeze blew through our remote dispersed campsite, the only source of noise for miles.

Escalante-06

As I do pretty much every morning, I grabbed the backpacking stove, heated a couple liters of water, and made pour-over coffee for myself and English breakfast tea for Daniel. We cooked scrambled eggs and toast on the camp stove, lounged in our camp chairs for a while, then packed up and ventured down the dirt highway toward Peekaboo and Spooky Canyons, two well-reviewed slot canyon hikes about thirty miles south of the nearest paved road.

We parked the van about a mile from the trailhead and hiked in, leaving the rough high clearance four-wheel-drive road to the better-equipped (with Jeeps and trucks) and the fearlessly stupid (with soon-to-be-mangled sedans). The hike took us down a few hundred feet of slickrock and gravel before turning a corner to reveal the entrance to the first slot canyon.

My heart sank when it came into view. A gaggle of 40 or 50 schoolchildren was milling about, waiting in a half-hour line to enter the canyon.

“God damn it,” I muttered, “is it Saturday?”

Saturday: The new worst day of the week

I’ve lived my entire life on basically the same schedule: 5 days on, 2 days off. I remember that routine from as far back as preschool, when Saturday and Sunday meant time at home with my parents and Monday through Friday meant another early morning trip to the daycare. As a fourth grader, I took a liking to those trite Garfield cartoons and their endlessly repeated refrain: Mondays are the worst.

For the past few years, Sunday nights have been the real culprit, consistently putting me in a depressed mood as I anticipated the work week ahead. The usual inflow of Sunday night work e-mails didn’t help.

How that Lana Del Rey song should have gone

How that Lana Del Rey song should have gone

Then, about two months ago, as we began our travels, the strangest thing happened: I stopped knowing or caring what day it was at all. Within just a few weeks, I had already lost track. How crazy is that? After decades of life dictated by the day of the week, all of a sudden, it didn’t matter. I think I’ve uttered the phrase “What day is it?” more in the past couple months than I had in my entire life prior. The only time we even really notice is on the weekend, when crowds of full-timers pack campsites and trails and remind us that we’re not the only ones who enjoy the outdoors.

Mondays, now, are the best day of the week. Campsites and trails are empty. Grocery stores are quiet. The working masses’ return to the office isn’t something to dread; it’s something we enjoy!

I’m often reminded of a few lines from a great song by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer:

Look at all the poor bastards

Gotta go to work while I sleep

Look at all the poor drivers

Gotta go to work every time

Happy Monday!

14 Comments

  1. I can attest to suffering from Sunday Night Sadness. Although, it decreased a little since formulating our escape plan. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I keep trying to convince myself that I can bear Mondays for another 5 1/2 years, to earn our freedom.

    • I’m glad it’s dissipated with your escape plan. I know that definitely helped for us. We also tried to do as much as we could to make Sundays active and fun — as a distraction, if nothing else!

  2. Thanks for rubbing it in! 🙂 We feel the Sunday blues in a big way around here. Living in a resort town has already taught us that weekends are the worst (death be to he who dares to brave Safeway on Friday night!), but that’s little consolation when we’re working the rest of the week, too! Can’t wait to flip the script and start enjoying those midweek and off-season trails.

    • My apologies for gloating. 😉 I would definitely be frustrated with all the tourist traffic on your days off. When you’re no longer working, though, what a phenomenal life! Deep powder, no crowds… sounds like heaven.

  3. On this specific Monday, I do love Mondays as well… I have a day off and took the kids to the Zoo! Great day.
    Any other Monday is not as bad as you describe. There are things at work that make me happy and give energy. There are off course things that drain all energy out of me!

    • I’m glad to hear that not every Monday is drudgery for you, amber! That’s the right way to look at it. Having regular 6 AM Monday morning work flights never helped my mood. The first few years I worked in a startup environment, the Sunday night blues went away, and I realized I was actually enjoying what I was doing and that it didn’t matter too much what the day was. I hope that’s your experience with the new gig!

  4. LOL, I’m with you on now loving Mondays! I used to have the worst anxiety on Sunday nights (well, every night really, but especially Sunday nights), but since I began an unplanned sabbatical a couple months ago, my weeks have reversed so that I love the serenity/low crowds of week days and somewhat avoid the popular areas on weekends. Glorious Mondays!

  5. That Lana Del Rey meme cracked me up haha, glad you guys have been enjoying your travels!

    • Thanks, Matt! It’s the only way I can hear that song these days. Summertime sadness, what’s that? Too many warm weather adventures to take on!

  6. Traveling Lanhams

    August 27, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    We feel the same. Been traveling over a year and are always forgetting what day it is. We reached the beach in Corfu today and it was packed. We just looked at each other in surprise when we realized it was Saturday!

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