Today is Monday. On Mondays, I wake up with the determination to get my life together. Everything has gone to you know where in a handbag over the weekend, but Monday is my restart day. Of course, I didn’t sleep last night. My children were all up at 5:30 a.m., and my toddler wants to wear underwear today. It’s starting to feel like I picked the wrong Monday to get my house and life together. 

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Many moons ago I saw this movie called Kill Bill. If you’ve seen it, then you’ll know the scene I’m about to speak of and if you haven’t seen it, I’m not advocating you run out and do so. There is a part in which Uma Thurman is very badly beaten. She has been through something awful and finds herself in a hospital bed unable to move. She starts to speak to her body, willing it to move. “Wiggle your big toe.” She repeats this to herself in escalating volume until her toe in fact does move. Her toe moves, then her foot, then her legs, and then she escapes the hospital.

That’s me every single Monday. I open my eyes, completely beaten down and broken, and will myself to wiggle my big toe. 

Today, after I wiggled my big toe, I began to knock out one project at a time. Pick up toys, collect trash, laundry, and dishes. I vacuumed and wiped down and then set out to do something about my nightstand.

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I have this basket that collects everything. Toys, pacifiers, ChapStick, essential oils, various medications, nail polish, jewelry, trash, earphones, our tax papers, a report card I should have turned in last week, and artwork from my daughter. My life has been collected in this one place, and it made me cry to sort through it all.

All the ChapSticks I’ve bought in an effort to have soft attractive lips instead of these dry, nasty ones winter has given me. Essential oils that were supposed to lift my mood and boost our immune systems. Medicines for all the horrible things my thirties have done to my body. I have pills for depression, my bladder health, aches and pains, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, allergies, sinus infections, and every salve you can imagine for my poor skin. Life is hard, man.

It snowballs and takes me to this place where I feel like I can’t move. 

Today is Monday. Today I face my life one thing at a time. I organize this little piece of my world and go on. I can’t sit and meditate on how I feel about it or how hard it is. I have to keep pressing into today. Today, I put my ChapStick on, rub on my lotions, and take my happy pill. I make my bed and just keep moving.

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It starts with my toes and ends with a head decision not to give up. Today I may only get this basket managed but that’s OK. I moved. I wasn’t paralyzed by the huge pile that needs to be done or that blocks my way.

For on Mondays, we start over and on Tuesdays, we keep moving. 

Shelley McCauley

Born and raised in northeast Florida and transplanted to Minnesota, I am a stay at home mom of four, daycare provider, and foster parent. My faith and my family drive me to get up each morning and encourage me to go to bed early every night. Writing has become free therapy and my outlet to connect with other women.