When I was in high school, every weekday morning, Mom would open my bedroom door at 5:30 to wake me up for school. Mom, a morning person, seemed to be filled with joy at doing what I perceived at the time as a horrible thing to me. She’d bound into my room (occasionally singing), and say “Good morning, Jen! It’s a beautiful day [even if it wasn’t]!” I usually groaned, rolled over in bed and asked her to turn the light out and shut the door. Cheerfully as ever, she chose to hear “Shut the door” instead as the French, similar-sounding phrase, “Je t’adore”, which means “I love you”. She’d always reply either, “I love you too, sweetie,” or occasionally “Moi aussi.”
When I’d finally made it out of bed, and to the breakfast table, she had lovingly made me soft-boiled eggs and toast daily, which I never truly appreciated until I got to college, to find that a granola bar on my way to class was my most realistic and best option for breakfast. Junior year in high school, much to my dismay, Mom delighted in taking my photograph each morning as I ate my eggs, so as to document my growth over the year. I sat at that table every morning, questioning my very existence, asking myself why I was putting myself through another day of stress at school, band practice, running several miles on a treadmill to keep in shape, and beginning my homework which would keep me up until 2 a.m. only to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to do it all again. Mom saw my daily look of discouragement and lack of energy to go on, and on a daily basis would say, “Cheer up! It’s almost Friday!”
At the time, I found this incredibly annoying, since on Monday morning, Friday was looking pretty distant. Looking back on it now, I realize what an incredible person Mom is for having put me through that “torture”. Mom can find the silver lining on any cloud. She has a gift for optimism, when it’s needed. And she has a desire to help those in need, whenever and wherever they are in life. I think about that phrase often, especially as I begin a work-week or a school-week that I know will be filled with more work or studying than usual, tests, papers, etc. “It’s almost Friday,” I tell myself. Even on Monday morning, the phrase makes me feel like I can make it through the week. It reminds me of how quickly the last fun (and thus, fast) week went by, and that if I can keep my spirits high, this week will be just as quick. After all, there is the same amount of time in this week as there was in the last; the same number of hours, minutes, seconds. How I choose to spend each of those moments will determine for me how good I feel by the time it actually is Friday.
Back in high school, I couldn’t see past my own disheartenment. Now, I understand. So, thanks, Mom. Lesson learned. It’s almost Friday.