Around here, Monday is trash day. You know, the day of the week when last week’s garbage gets piled up and taken to the curb. Monday is also my internal trash day. I have noticed a pattern that Mondays are the days I tend to be the hardest on myself and give myself the least amount of self love. My mental trash can overflows with anxiety, negativity and self doubt. It's also the one day of the week that I feel like I never have enough: enough time, enough money, enough courage, enough talent, enough friends…etc. I am full of self pity and I am weighed down by all these bad feelings. I hate having these emotions when I know deep down how very fortunate and blessed I am.
Thank goodness these feelings are temporary, but while I am experiencing them, they can momentarily paralyze me. Although I suffer from the Monday Blues, the other days of the week are not a challenge. It's those empty, depressed Monday feelings that cause all the doubt and anxiety to come rushing in and temporarily skew my perspective. Some people experience the Sunday Scaries, but my Scaries are on Monday. It's Melancholy Monday for me. These feelings may last a minute, an hour or half a day. It doesn't matter how long they last; the fact is that I have them.
Having self love is hard sometimes. I struggle with it and have to practice the art of being kind and gentle to myself frequently. I would never speak to a friend like I speak to myself when I am in a bad head space. But often, the one person we mistreat the most is ourselves.
One antidote to this negative mindset is making art. I can always go into my studio and feel a sense of peace. This is the one place I can go to escape and feel unbridled joy in just creating. I actually feel my heart lighten up a bit. No matter what I am creating; it's the process I love most. It's so therapeutic. My studio is my safe place. My art supplies help me find my backbone and courage. My paints and paint brushes, the pieces of salvage wood and the rusted bottle caps, they pull me back to my happy place where self satisfaction and self love exist. The Found Objects remind me of the happy, optimistic and cheerful person I usually am, free of anxiety and self doubt. They help me re-identify and reconnect to what's important. Getting paint all over my hands, feeling the rough metal and holding the street worn nails; it's a connection to these materials that pulls me out of my negative head space and back to a reality that is rich with blessings. There is an undeniable energy in these items. They have all had a journey to end up discarded and have had a previous life in some other form. My art celebrates this transformation and is a reflection of my best self doing my most creative work. Found Objects are flawed and imperfect, but they are reminders that second chances and new beginnings are always possible. Perfection is not real. Me being me, the real me, is admitting my shortcomings, insecurities and anxieties as well as all of the positive qualities. Being comfortable in my own skin can be hard, but that is where my best self is located. And sometimes I have to start over and give myself a second chance in order to find the best version of me.
My art studio and all of my art supplies continue to guide me out of my temporary fog and back into the light on Melancholy Mondays. They remind me to take all those bad feelings and insecurities and put them in the garbage with the rest of last week's trash.
So Melancholy Mondays, you have caused me to stumble and fall in the past. But I have named you, so I can tame you. You will come again next week, and the week after next. But you won't pull me down like you once did. Be warned Mondays. I am armed with a paint brush and am stronger now and can recognize you sneaking up on me. And I will kick you to the curb if I have to!