Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Antidote for Temporary Periods of Joy

A million years ago - before my whiskers turned just so many shades of gray - I worked for my brother Kelly. One of us is an absolute genius at taking what is drawn by architects and engineers on plans and prints and turning it into a real live building. The other one of us went to law school. I would like to think that my abandonment of my career in commercial construction in favor of the puruit of one in law was likely the single greatest thing to happen to my brother in terms of his profession. After all these years, I would be willing to wager that he agrees.

I might be the most mechanically unskilled man on the planet. I let out a little cheer whenever I open the refrigerator door and the inside light comes on. I do not pretend to know how one relates to the other. I just appreciate that they somehow go together. They say ignorance is bliss. I do not know about that for if that was true I would be the plaent's happiest man. I am not. I am Irish. As Yeats once wrote, "Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."

While it is self-evident that none of what Kelly attempted to teach me about construction actually seeped its way into my pores, I did learn very well from my brother another very important lesson. I learned from him that while people sing about their disdain for Mondays, it is not Monday that is the week's worst day. It is instead the day that lies in wait behind it on the calendar. The day so horrible that when I worked for Kelly I learned to not refer to it as "Tuesday" but rather, "The Day After Monday".

For it is that day - the Day After Monday - that is the worst day of the week. Monday is a bummer but it is the Day After Monday that takes center stage as the #1 El Sucko Day of the week. His rationale was that since a lot of people have off on Saturday/Sunday while getting up for work on Monday is a buzz kill, your mind thinks, "Hey this is not so bad. The last time the alarm clock woke me up and I had to go to work, I was rewarded with two straight days off!"

But when the alarm clock rings again on Tuesday morning, your mind realizes that it and your body are screwed. The day before was not an aberration but rather the jagged tip of a spear that is five days long. It occurs to you that not only were you not rewarded for having worked on Monday by receiving two more days off, you have actually been punished. Your punishment shall be four more sleep-crushing mornings in a row before your chance to come up for air appears on the horizon line.

Scoff at his logic at your own peril. I learned long ago to respect and dread - just a little - the pain that the Day After Monday brings. Yesterday I was not disappointed. It delivered it in spades. And lucky boy that I am, it appears - in one small corner of my professional universe - as if it shall be the Day After Monday for the foreseeable future. Color me excited....



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