Originally published on December 7, 2017
Have you heard the phrase, “rescue Monday?” I think I got it from Jon Acuff’s book, Do Over. Acuff, who wrote a tremendously engaging book, talks about how people feel on Sunday night as they are thinking about going back to work on Monday morning. The feeling associated with this scenario is one of disappointment and unhappiness. “Rescue Monday” is meant to convey the idea of making your work a place where you want to go so that when you think about your work on Sunday night, you’re not disappointed or unhappy but excited and eager. While I really appreciated his book and highly recommend it, I am not sure that I relate to the sentiment about rescuing Monday.
I will be the first to say without embarrassment or sarcasm, I LOVE my job! Honestly, this is the work that I feel like I was born to do. I love the people I get to work with. I love the impact that I have on those with whom I work. I love that I can see the impact of their work on the larger community. That impact, for me, is not just enjoyable—it’s motivating! I’m the type of person who really gets excited about noticeable differences (which explains why I love make-over shows or cleaning things when they are really dirty…the differences are obvious). Therefore, when my work brings about even small but noticeable changes, I get very eager to do more of what I was doing. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
Yet, on Fridays, I’m not sad that I hopefully will not be working for two days. In fact, “not sad” is an understatement. I’m excited, relieved, and happy!!! This does not mean I don’t love my job; this means I love my free time more than my job. I would argue that loving your free time more than your job is actually the ideal orientation between work life and home life. Work is the place I go home from not the place I go home to. This doesn’t mean you should not find the thing you’re passionate about and then figure out a way to get paid for doing that. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the people you work with or the work you do. This certainly doesn’t mean that you should feel despondent about work or that work should be miserable. It simply means that no matter how engaged you are in your work, for most of us, free time is always going to be more appealing.
So, if Acuff knows that, and I’m sure he does, what does he mean when he says, “rescue Monday?” I think he means that even though work is work, how can we find passion in what we’re doing? If we are passionate about what we’re doing, even if we have to work, we feel compelled to say that we get to work AND that we’re able to work on the things that matter to us. In other words, even if you are not independently wealthy, it’s better to get paid to do the things you like to do than the things you don’t.