Monday, January 16, 2012

31 Writers, 31 Lessons-Lesson 16: It's Monday and You are Dying

According to Google, based on my race and gender’s life expectancy, I’m already more than halfway to the end of this road—and more than that if I smoked and didn’t look both ways before crossing the street. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the sort of thing I like to hear on a Monday morning.

Mondays are bad enough as it is. The most I can handle before my first cup of coffee is the weather report and sometimes not even that. More rain? I’m going back to bed. Unfortunately, pretending that I never Googled it doesn’t make it less true. I’ve been dying since the day I was born—and so have you.

So what exactly do you do on a day that takes you one day closer to the end? Do you slam your laptop shut, run out of your cubicle and start going through your bucket list? Do you pick your kids up early from school and have ice cream and pancakes for dinner?

Unless the world unanimously decided that mortgages were passé, electricity was free, and kids didn’t need an education, I’m betting that these are some things we probably wouldn’t do. Monday may take us closer to our final deadline, but it doesn’t change the fact that bills need to be paid tomorrow. It’s Tuesday, people, not the end of the world. We might be dying, but we still have to make dinner.

Still, even if my grocery list seems a tiny bit more urgent than my bucket list today (I’m out of cheese), the fact that this Monday is one day less from the one thousand eight hundred twenty five Mondays ahead of me, demands some amount of action. I’m starting with elevator buttons and caterpillars.

I will admit that I belong to the club of people who believe that pressing the elevator button just one more time will make it go faster. Today, I will allow the elevator and time to run its course. Today, I will not hurry my daughter on our walk to school. I will not tug her hand or herd her past her striped caterpillars. I will stop, crouch next to her and share her stories about caterpillar kings and odd shaped rocks.

It’s Monday and today I will die slowly and well.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao is a writer from the Philippines, where she lives with her family. Her first novel, Before Ever After, a quirky, time-traveling romance, caught the attention of Random House in the United States, where she received a book deal. Her blog chronicles her whirlwind tour of this book in both the Philippines and the United States! For more information about Sam, visit her website at


  1. To Samantha: "May you live every day of your life."

    Although I have sympathies with her concerns. As The Carpenters sang, "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

    Intriguing post, nonetheless. (You find the most interesting people, Katherine.)

  2. What a beautiful way of reminding us about both the inevitable AND the practical. It's how we navigate through that makes all the difference. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

  3. Just for a second, Sam, I thought you were going to say that you don't press elevator buttons because they are germ-ridden and you don't want to hasten the dying process. But that's a guest post for OCMOM, not this blog; I was momentarily discombobulated.

    It's Monday and I may be getting closer to retirement, but the Social Security administration says I can't retire until 18 years from now. My previous career lasted 19 years, so I have an entire career's worth of time ahead if I don't die just yet. That thought makes me really want to select wisely, because 18 years of misery is a very long time. I want it to be 18 years of fulfillment.

  4. @Rob-bear-I know! You are one of them! Thanks for reading all these posts and leaving a nice msg. for Sam!

  5. Thanks, readers, for leaving comments for Sam here!

  6. An award nomination and tag for you in my post here:

  7. Thanks Yuvkika! I appreciate it! I'll post it here after this January event of wonderful writers finishes! I hope you are enjoying all the posts here this month!

  8. Thanks for having me over, Katherine! It was great to meet your readers. Wishing you the best for your book release! :)