It would be nice if we could choose our garbage day. Obviously this would cause some major problems for the trash collectors, but would be a handy option if it were possible. That’s because some days are definitely better days than others to have assigned as your trash day. And I’ve decided that Monday is the worst possible trash day one can have. Why? Primarily because several federal holidays fall on Monday. They are MLK, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day. Then there are a few more federal holidays that sometimes fall on weekends, and when that happens they are normally observed on the next weekday, which of course is Monday. Those are New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day and Christmas Day.
So, what happens when your garbage day falls on a holiday? There was a time when this meant in many communities that you simply had to hold your garbage for an extra week. This is becoming less common, but there is still no uniform practice. Some communities will put a note in your garbage can telling you what the schedule will be for that week. Others simply do double duty the next day, and so you just leave your garbage out for an extra day. But some still say, “Sorry, we’ll get you again next week.” And if that is the case for you, then you know that I am right when I say, Monday is the worst day for garbage day.
All of that has me thinking about a different kind of garbage. The garbage that we all carry around with us. Frustrations. Pains. Disappointments. Bad moods. Fatigue. You know, all the stuff that we tend to want to bag up and have taken away instead of strewn across the lawn of our lives for the whole community to see. Most of the time we deal with our trash effectively. We have a schedule, if you will. A routine for placing our waste in canisters, out of sight until it can all be taken away.
But occasionally our system breaks down. We take a break from the routine. We decide not to do our usual work that day. We decide we are tired of smiling when that coworker makes that joke that drives us crazy. So we unload our thoughts suddenly and without warning. We think today is the day we don’t have to overcome our fatigue. So we check out from everyone around us. We believe today is the day that we don’t owe anyone the hard work of being polite. So we start biting people’s heads off. It is as if we have declared a holiday, a break from being a responsible adult. We all have these emotional holidays. Having them is not the problem. The problem is that when the emotional holiday comes the garbage collectors don’t, and before you know it we have busted bags of trash laying out in front of God and everybody.
It has happened to all of us. And it will happen again. Luckily most of us have gracious friends, family members and coworkers who will be understanding enough to forgive it, laugh about it. Maybe even help us pick up the mess. But if you want to cut down on such occurrences consider this. Emotional holidays often fall on Mondays. Maybe it is the transition from weekend to work week. Maybe it is the stress of things outside of work. Maybe it is fatigue from a weekend of fun and little sleep. Whatever the case may be, Monday is the day that you are most likely to declare a sudden emotional holiday. So just keep that in mind next time you feel the temptation to check out on a Monday. It might help you gather enough strength to at least hold on to your garbage that day, and keep you from making a mess that will embarrass you later.