By Helena Rodriguez: Local columnist
We have it backward, says my Spanish professor, Dr. Vitelio Contreras of Eastern New Mexico University. Monday is the best day of the week, he says, because we’re rested from the weekend. By Friday, we’re exhausted.
It’s a psychological thing, he says, about dreading Mondays. Many of us take on an “It’s back to the old grindstone” mentality on Mondays. As for Fridays, although we’re exhausted, we’re ready to shake it loose, dress down in jeans and kick back. Isn’t it funny, though, how even after a long week, we’re ready to go out and celebrate?
I think Contreras has a good argument. We could reprogram our minds to change our outlook. However, many of us don’t function in this so-called “ideal world” mentioned above. If you’re like me, you have a lot of things on your weekend to-do list. Although we’re supposed to rest on the Sabbath, we’re still frantically trying to check things off of our list on Sunday. Come Monday, we need a weekend from our weekend.
When Friday rolls around again, all too soon if we’re working on deadline, or not soon enough if we’re running on empty, we’re exhausted, and yet we feel energized because we made it through the week. Hence comes the saying, T.G.I.F. or T.G.I.V, thank God it’s viernes, as I like to e-mail my sister, Becky, every Friday. I have yet to hear someone say: “Thank God it’s Monday!”
Saturdays are actually the busiest days because we’re trying to get our homes, which we neglected all week, back in order. But although Saturday is sometimes a dreaded day of chores, Friday night means time to shake it loose because the good thing about Saturdays, for many of us, is that we can sleep in late.
I’ve often heard the middle of the week, Wednesday, called “Hump Day.” Wednesday is the halfway mark. If you can make it over the hump, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel … a Friday just over the horizon. When I lived in Odessa, Texas, in 1989, I was confused when the radio DJ said it was a holiday. Sure enough it was, even though I had to work. But when he said this again and again over the next few days, I finally realized it was a play on words. He was saying “It’s another ‘jale-day!’” (The j is pronounced like an h in Spanish). Jale means work and so jale-day (Hah-leh-day) is actually a workday.
Wednesday is also church night for many of us. Is it any wonder that this middle day of the week has become the popular get-back-to-church night? This is a clever idea because, by Hump Day, we’re ready to get down on our knees and beg for the strength to make it through Friday. At my house, like many homes, Wednesday night is church night, and I get annoyed when people schedule events that conflict. I lived in the die-hard Christian town of Abilene, Texas, a few years ago, a city even more conservative than the High Plains. There was literally a church around every corner. In fact, the town holds some kind of record for having the most churches per square mile. In Abilene, it was unthinkable to schedule a non-church related event on a Wednesday night.
We should hold our Sabbaths as sacred as our Wednesday nights. My daughter, Laura, reminds of this when I instinctively tell her to make her bed, and so she doesn’t make her bed on Sundays. I usually don’t do dishes on Sunday either, and I try not to do laundry or other chores. Nevertheless, I end up doing some stuff on Sunday, usually studying, that I didn’t get to on Saturday, and so sometimes I only give myself half a Sabbath day.
I actually did take a recent Sunday off completely — no chores or studying — and I must admit that on Monday morning, I felt refreshed and energized to begin a new work week. If we get our priorities right, then maybe there is some truth to what Contreras says. As for now, though, it’s Friday, and to that I say … T.G.I.V.
Helena Rodriguez is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at: