On Being Re-inspired

Two days ago, on Monday, I was feeling a bit down. It wasn’t anything serious, I was just dragging. My head was out of the game. I didn’t feel productive. Things weren’t going like they usually do.

In the movie Officespace there is a recurring joke about having “a case of the Mondays”. The joke referred to how dorky it was to say you have “a case of the Mondays”. However, I think the phrase aptly describes how a lot of people, myself included feel on Monday morning.

You drag your sorry butt out of bed, look in the mirror, and think “here we go again”. The weekend went by too fast. The big, exciting plans, that you had on Friday afternoon weren’t as great as you’d hoped. You spent Sunday evening thinking of everything you’d have to do come Monday.

The alarm clock goes off and anticipation meets reality. Its still dark out when you get up. You eat breakfast before your body is really ready. Coffee helps, but only temporarily. It takes time to get into a working rhythm. Things just aren’t quite right.

I was feeling a little lost in the world. My normal confidence was lacking and I got into a bout of the old “What in the hell is this whole thing about anyways?”. What thing? Life. I was questioning what life is all about. Once you start questioning the meaning of life, you know its going to be a long day.

By calling myself a wimp and drinking too much coffee, I managed to churn out a decently productive morning. Lunch was good. We had vegetable soup from the night before. However, the work momentum that I had built up was lost.

After lunch I rode my bike over to one of my accounting jobs. It was raining pretty hard and I felt blue. Here I am, far from my family, riding a bike in the rain, to sit in an office and work on a computer. Great.

Mind you, I’m normally very optimistic about life. I’m not usually depressive in the least. It only happens on the odd Monday morning.

I immediately fired up a cup of coffee. But before I drank the coffee, I went into the bathroom and splashed some water on my face. I looked in the mirror and said to myself “You need to get it together right now. Be a professional!”.

My little pep talk helped. Within fifteen minutes I started to get into a groove. Maybe its hard to understand, but I like accounting. Accounting entries describe business transactions and I love business. Business is nothing more than people serving people. Accounting indicates how successful and efficient the business is at making lives easier. I dig it.

As I was crunching numbers in the accounting office, one of our co-workers came in. She brought us a check to deposit. But there was something wrong. I could see that she was feeling down. We asked her if everything was alright.

She said that actually everything was not alright. Her brother in law (her sister’s husband) was in the hospital. A few months back, doctors discovered that he had a brain tumor. One morning he woke up and he just couldn’t function anymore. Initially they thought he’d suffered a stroke, but an MRI revealed a massive brain tumor.

She said that it was so weird because just a couple of days before they found the tumor, they’d all been out bowling and everything seemed perfectly fine. Just two days later he was laid up in the hospital.

Immediate surgery was needed to remove the tumor. The hospital had a top flight neurosurgeon on staff.  Everything seemed fine. The tumor was removed and the recovery process appeared to be going well.

Then, out of the blue, the patient start bleeding from the scars left during the surgery. His brain was swelling. It was a very unusual occurrence considering that all of the other signs were stable.

Back to the hospital for another operation. This time, the surgeons found irreparable brain stem damage. After surgery to relieve pressure in the brain, the patient fell into an unconscious state. The doctors said that he would never be the same if he came out of the coma. In all likely hood he would soon die.

Our coworker and her sister are very close. In fact they are best friends. The sister now has nobody else. No kids, no parents, and soon, no husband. Beyond tragic.

As we listened to the story, it was all that I could handle to not start crying. Above all else, I hate to see people suffer. We listened and listened. My co-worker was so strong. She told the story bravely. She had to be there for her sister. Wow.

Needless to say, it made my case of the Mondays seem totally ridiculous. At this point in my life, I really have nothing to feel bad about. I have a wife whom I love and who loves me back. I have an abundance of work. I have great parents. My brother is wonderful and funny. I even have a cute little niece.

Who cares if its Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? As long as we’re all healthy and getting by, what more could we possibly ask for?

So, I’ve made a pledge to myself in the name of good, happy living.

I will no longer get down unless there is something very real to be down about.

If I start to feel down, if I have a case of the Mondays, if I start playing the old whats it all about anyways game, I’ll remember this important fact: its all about being alive.

I’m alive. That’s enough to keep me happy.

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