It doesn’t matter that everything in this house is related to work or creativity. It doesn’t matter that Dan’s up at dawn every day (pre-dawn now it’s winter), sitting at his desk, doing his thing. It doesn’t matter that Sunday is always an early night, to start the week swinging. It doesn’t seem to matter what we do, Monday is always Monday.
It doesn’t matter what I’ve planned the night before, I always wake up a blank slate. The plan is lost to the mists of the moon, the appetite is gone, and I’m back in neutral. It happens every night, and most mornings it comes as a surprise to me. All the energy and intent I went to bed with is always gone by morning.
Dan is completely different. Most mornings, he wakes up ready and raring to go, all his thoughts and ideas at his fingertips, all his enthusiasm for the work driving him on, his appetite for storytelling compulsive... Except on Mondays.
Dan has a morning routine, always the same, his chores completed in the same order: He feeds the cats and empties the dishwasher. He makes a cup of tea, and attends to his ablutions. And when the small, domestic stuff is done, he sits at his desk and gets on with doing his thing. By the time he brings me my first cup of tea at eight o’clock, he’s already well into his first job of the day.
The routine doesn’t change on a Monday. The cats still get fed, and the dishwasher still gets emptied. Dan still gets cleaned up ready for the day, and he still makes his cup of tea. On Monday, he sits at his desk and bibbles. He moves things around, unnecessarily, since his desk is always in good order. He organises his diary, which is always organised, and he sorts out his schedule, which is always sorted, because it’s ongoing. He plans his week, which is fine, up to a point, but the torrent of e-mails and the non-stop phone calls mean that his plans for the week can change on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.
He still brings me my cup of tea at eight, but instead of breezing in, and flying out, as he does most mornings, on Monday's, he hovers. He wants something. He wants some stimulus, some clue as to what he should do next, some impetus. Long experience has shown me that I can’t actually do anything about his Monday-morning-itis, so I generally just say something positive, but neutral, and gently encourage anything he does take an interest in.
|and here's the gorgeous special
edition of 'Penitent', just because
This is when the errands get done. This is when he drops off groceries for his mother, goes to the post-office, or pops to the pet shop for supplies. They’re never big, scary jobs, they’re an excuse for a little air, a change of pace, and a chance to recharge his batteries.
I wake up in neutral every day. Dan wakes up in neutral on Mondays. He’s allowed. I can do stuff, and I do do stuff. I could never keep up the sustained creativity that he does, and I could never produce the volume of work that he manages. I don’t have the stamina. I don’t have the chops.
I take a couple of hours to get going every morning, and some days, I never really get myself moving. I think Dan’s allowed to take a couple of hours one morning a week to be in neutral. The really weird thing is that it always seems to surprise him. For me, it’s just part of his routine; for him, it’s an embuggerance.