writing

Monster of Mind

Why do we all dread Mondays? Even back when I worked most weekends, Mondays were a problem child. Perhaps it’s because everything comes due on a Monday. Perhaps it’s because we’ve just gotten used to one routine, and suddenly we have to switch to another. Perhaps it’s simply that Mondays are evil. I don’t know. I’m sure that someone has studied this, but in the interests of not wanting to deepen my Monday gloom, I ain’t lookin’ for it.

I actually enjoy work. It’s mentally stimulating, and rewarding in that we have small goals that can be met in a time where you aren’t peering into the darkness wondering if that’s a star, or if it’s a match lit by a fellow wanderer in the abyss. I mean, usually the reward for success is to do it again, only this time a bit faster, please? But at least there’s a please. So once I’ve buckled on the harness and settled into the rhythms of the pull for the week, I’m good. It’s just that transition time…

Which is probably why Monday blogs are late more often than not. I’m juggling, after work: a very important errand, a kid who has a concert, dinner, ironing the kid’s shirt, wrapping a secret Santa gift, hitting the post office, and goodness-only-knows what else. So finding the time to write anything here is, um, tricky. Must try to write ahead, but there’s a reason the blog is sporadic at best on weekends. I mean, in theory I could work like Sarah Hoyt used to, and write all the blog for the week in a day or two, leaving me free to write other stuff, like fiction, in the rest of the time. Don’t get me wrong – I try to write the blog daily. But the fiction is priority.

So what am I researching today? How about the effects of stress on adolescent development and it’s impacts on decision-making later in life? I have been meaning to sit down and write an essay on resilience of the human brain following a traumatic incident (or a series of them). Having personal experience with that, it’s hard to divorce emotions from data. But we have to step outside our own case and learn to read and think critically. If we can’t, then we assume that everyone else’s experiences are the same as our own, and that is fatally flawed rationale. This morning as we were going through the routine of waking and dressing (I the former, the First Reader the latter) we were talking about empathy versus sympathy. Empathy means you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If you cannot, then you risk a self-centered view of the world that will hamper your growth and development as a rounded human being.

Not that it’s wrong to feel strongly about your own experiences. But you cannot assume that you’re having them because everyone is out to get you, or because of ‘the patriarchy’ or ‘Amazon’ if it’s business related. Those are both constructs of limited imagination. The world doesn’t center around you. Not every day is Monday, and time does not anthropomorphize to create a day of the week that is cursed and has it in for you. It just feels that way. If you look at the data objectively, you’ll see that bad things happen every day of the week, not just on Mondays. Bad things happen to good people, and sometimes good things happen to good people. But that’s getting into grace and mercy, which I’ll leave for another day, when I have more brain.

 

4 thoughts on “Monster of Mind

  1. Pippa and I were having a discussion about the difference between empathy and sympathy just a couple of days ago, and I was having trouble expressing what those differences are. I’ll get her to read this!

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