Every Monday morning I wake up at 4:00 am, get dressed and walk into work. At 5 am I walk into a dark and empty restaurant, turn everything on, count the money, start the coffee, and eat a bagel. Then I sit in the silence and wait for thoughts to come into my head. Usually every Monday morning the customers I get are my regular customers, I know what they're going to drink without asking, and know what they're going to order without asking. They know about my life and I know about theirs, and we will pass the time with idle conversation. But, every once in awhile, on a Monday morning I get a new customer, who really makes me think. I get goosebumps and wonder if they even begin to understand how they have altered my life in that simple moment where I was getting their coffee and making their food. Almost a year ago, I had an older gentleman come in and ask me about my life and what I was doing, and the conversation that followed was so insightful at the time, that I stated later that I wished that I had gotten his information, because I probably would invite him to my wedding someday. Today, three lovely gentlemen walk into the restaurant, order coffee, and then as I bring the food to their table, they join hands and pray. The youngest man, I was told, had served two tours in Afghanistan I believe. I don't know what it was about this small table that has me thinking so much, but it really has rejuvenated me. This young man has gone and fought for our country, not once but twice, seen horrors untold, and yet he will never know the deep appreciation I actually feel for him. Some of my closest guy friends have served in the military and I have seen what it has done for them, and yet here he sits, and he prays, with his family, before he eats breakfast.
How deep this man's faith must be.
When we are young we worry about little to nothing. What is for lunch, what am I going to play for recess?
When we get a little older we begin to worry about a bit more. What clothes we were, are our friends going to like us? Our worries begin to become more based on other people, what they think of us.
By the time we are teenagers, it seems to be the end of the world. We are concerned about homework, parties, our friends, being accepted, our parents need to be cool, and if anything does not go the way we want it to go, it is seemingly the end of the world. We have no idea that the world is not going to stop if we get grounded and miss the party.
Late teens and early twenties, most are in college, and our worries are intensified. We start to think of our future, we are on our own, we have to wake ourselves up, we have to pay for things, we have to work hard, and balance that with the carefree nature of being able to do the things we wanted to do when we were under our parents roof but weren't allowed.
Now I am 25. I have been out of college for a few years, and I am faced with working crazy hours, losing friends, not being able to have fun when I want to. I make tons of sacrifices. I lose sleep, I pay bills, I work hard, I don't see my friends often, I rarely even get to go out to the bar and enjoy a beer. And what do I worry about? Finally, it seems that I have hit the age where I worry about the future. Now that it is right here in front of me, I worry about using my degree, I worry about when I will get married, I worry about how I'm going to pay my bills, I worry about how I will afford to buy a house and start a family, I worry about how my actions effect everyone around me, I worry about being respected and admired. How foolish it seems to me that when I was younger I felt like it was the end of the world, and now I'm still panicking.
I have seen terrors and horrors, but nothing near compared to what I'm sure this man has seen, and he still has enough faith to thank the Lord for what he has.
I worry all the time, I'm pretty sure everyone who knows me on a personal level knows this. Don't get me wrong, I definitely go in spurts where I am very thankful for what I have and where I am in the world. But I think it's time for me to stop only being thankful when good things happen. I have to learn to be thankful even when I feel like I am losing my mind. Because there are far worse things out there. There are people out there who do not have anything near what I have. I am incredibly lucky and blessed, I should be thankful.
I don't necessarily dislike my Monday morning shift, in fact, I requested it. I quite enjoy the quiet of a Monday morning and trying to make a delicious breakfast to help someone get through the beginning of their week. So when I say I have a case of the Mondays, it's not really in the same negative connotation as most people see it. Monday is usually the day I am feeling most insightful, most reflective, most inspired. And as for this Monday, I am thankful that I woke up at all.
So I guess my message today is for everyone to take a little differently. If you are not religious, that's okay, you don't have to take this as a lesson about being religious and having faith.
My message is for people to be thankful for what you have. No matter what your age is, in five years chances are the things you were upset about will not matter as much to you. You'll have new worries and new problems and they'll probably be much bigger than you ever imagined. So be thankful, worry less, and enjoy life. Try to have my version of a Case of the Mondays.