Let’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.
2. Turn That Monday Frown Upside-down. My fellow 7th grade writing teacher cohorts and I had to put on a presentation on Monday in front of our reluctant staff. In an effort to bring our writing scores up, we had to ask our staff to get on board and teach writing with us in their content area. I was a tad nervous about it, considering that we all have enough on our plates as is, without adding something else to the mix, but it was a relief to find that they met us with less contempt than we thought. Ha! That was a relief, and in fact, they expressed to us that it made a lot more sense this time and were happy to step in and help. Phew! And as a bonus, I looked forward to meeting someone for coffee after work. We pretty much shared stories and laughed the entire night, and I so needed that energy to start my week. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do a Monday.
3. Hump Day. In more ways than one, Wednesday was a hump day — not in that way — get your head out of the gutter! My roommate and I met a new friend out for dinner Wednesday night, and somehow found ourselves talking about the TedTalk (below) that he shared with us. Take a moment to watch it — it’s totally worth your time. Do it. Stop reading, and do it now. GO. But come back!
Alright, now that you are back… We decided to ask each other the 36 questions mentioned in the video that are suppose to bring people closer together, and truth be told, it changed us. I felt like I knew my roommate on a deeper level and our new friend suddenly felt like someone we’d known for eternity. I woke up that next morning feeling so light, grateful, and fulfilled. To know people fully is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other. To give ourselves freely and vulnerably (okay, I see you red squiggly line, but I refuse to not make this a word) is incredibly freeing when the fear is taken out of the equation. Did anyone fall in love in this scenario? I’m willing to bet something will come out of it (I was a grateful observer). And… I realized something about myself that night in combination with recent therapy (not afraid to say it!), I AM NOT AFRAID OF VULNERABILITY!! I am rightly guarded because of events that have happened to me, but that’s okay — it’s healthy. Learning how to not allow those experiences to control us is key but we should gently allow experience to shape us. That’s natural. What’s not natural is fighting against that. I look forward to and actually seek opportunities to be vulnerable, when others are willing to take the journey with me. All three of us were willing, and we gave each other some of the best compliments I have ever heard. At one point, my new friend said, “If I were to enjoy a beautiful sunset with someone or just take in the joy of something, of all people, I would want to share that moment with you because you also see the world through rose-colored glasses and would see the beauty in things the way I do.” Wow, I love that so much, that I will remember that forever. I think the best feeling in the world is just feeling understood, and he understood how much that part of myself seeked to be acknowledged and admired. I want more of this feeling in my life, and I will seek it out every day and get to know people with intention. Life is too short not to do that.
4. Blues Happy Hour. Friday night, someone invited me to check out a blues happy hour at a hidden gem of a venue in Austin. Being the blues fanatic I am, I am shocked at myself for not having done this in Austin before this past week. We went to Skylark Lounge and saw the cutest senior citizen belt out the blues. Her range was pretty impressive. Although I lost a couple of self-generated bets (I should never do this! — I’m not known for my luck), I think I still came out a winner with good company, music, and beverages.
5. Oddball Festival. My roommate and I went to The Oddball Festival in Austin on Saturday and saw Amy Schumer and Aziz Ansari. Not only were they hilarious (Schumer rules my world), but their social commentary was also on point. Nothing beats spreading progressive thought with a sense of humor to boot.
6. Elephant Room. After the comedy festival, we met up with a few people at The Elephant Room downtown — an underground, divvy jazz bar. It was swanky, soulful, and I felt like I was in a time warp with the most interesting people in Austin. People with blues and/or jazz in their veins cannot lack a good story. I’m convinced this is a strange truth. I’m such a dork, but with a glass of whisky in my hand, saxophone and drums filling my ears, and a vibration in the room that induced a chair shimmy, I felt like I had finally found my people.
7. Sunday Funday/Workday. Sunday, I was up to my eyeballs grading papers, but my roommate and I had a couple of visitors throughout the day to break things up and keep me from going completely insane. And the good news is… It’s Monday, and I’m still alive. Papers up to my eyeballs… Let’s do this, Monday.
I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss! Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!
Have a wonderful week!