Do you dread Monday? I used to, but retirement renders sameness to most days. Still, the reputation for Monday and misery go hand in hand.

Have you ever felt as if Monday, when everything goes wrong repeatedly, goes on for the whole week? It just happened to me, except it was for two long weeks. I do hope Friday will bring some calm and serenity to all the commotion and frustration of the last 14 days.

Everybody has problems, so I’m not whining, but they come in bunches like bananas or grapes. They pile on us to the near breaking point — but I refuse to succumb.

The pandemic and isolation are bad enough. Add to that being confined to home for illness and care giving. No, I do not feel like a prisoner in my own home, but I do miss socializing during stressful times such as these, when self-care is crucial.

In a brief time, our family has experienced several very difficult situations, including a custody battle, multiple folks with cancer that are not responding well to treatment, a rescue, situations straining finances, surgery for our beloved pet and more. Somehow, we seem to handle the "big stuff" with grace and relative ease. It’s the little irritations that drive us nuts.

Add to this the air conditioner that decides to go out (it has never happened for us in a month other than August — go figure). When I reached to close the blinds in order to block the sun from drowning my living room in heat, the custom-sized blind broke, snapping the mounts into pieces. I ordered a new one to be delivered within three days.

The next morning, however, I received an email that I was to pick it up at the store! Imagine my surprise when it was not the nearest store but one nearly two counties away. The next 55 minutes were spent trying to connect to the right person. I cancelled the order and placed a new one. Now, delivery is delayed for almost two weeks.

The list goes on. Those little irritations continue to needle us into submission. That, or we go into fight-or-flight mode. Is it any wonder I am losing my hair?

Overdramatizing events is rarely my modus operandi and yet there I was, more hot and bothered than I should have been. Luckily, one of my strengths is I am flexible and roll with the punches — but even Wonder Woman has her limits. In other words, “This chick has had it!”

All is good, despite our challenges. These very trials are what make us appreciate those uneventful days when everything — well, almost everything — runs smoothly and without a hitch.

Many years ago, I learned not to question things when it seems my world is shifting out of alignment. Don’t ask, “Why?” but rather, “Why not?” There is wisdom here: Look for the lesson, rather than focus on the struggle. It will bring peace and put things in the proper perspective.

As I reflect on those crazy times, lessons become increasingly apparent. Every circumstance brings experience and blessings.

What may have seemed a long, grueling detour just may have been a tender mercy of the Lord as he answers our prayers and deepest desires in his way. Look for those lessons, messages, gifts and answers when it would be understandable to simply throw up our hands in defeat and walk away. We grow and develop into our potential during challenges.

There is an old Japanese custom called Kintsugi. Broken pottery is mended using gold to fill in the cracks. Despite the obvious, that it was broken and mended, it is given a place of honor. The repairs become a metaphor for the scars and cracks representing our flaws and imperfections, to be embraced in our uniqueness.

Like the Mondays that often come without a seeming end, our character flaws and less-than-perfect selves should be embraced and cherished. They are a part of who we were, who we are and who we will become.

My favorite day of the week is Sunday. It is unique and inspiring, because it is the day our family sets apart to worship and spend time together. It’s the day we set aside worldly cares — who doesn’t need a break from that — and get in touch with our maker, ourselves, our family and loved ones.

Stay strong, and don’t let Mondays get you down — even when they seem to last all week.

— A coal miner’s daughter born in Appalachia and schooled in Michigan, she currently lives in rural Athens. Hill describes herself as a cook and cookbook author, jack of all trades and master of none, a Christian wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She shares her home with her husband, Bob, and their spoiled-beyond-belief dog, Molly.

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