01.11.16

Dear future self

It’s Tuesday today. People say Tuesday is the worst day. It’s not quite far enough into the week to tolerate phrases like “don’t worry, we’re nearly there” and it’s early enough to permit bouts of drowsiness.

Today I also have a crick in my neck.

No matter what I did I wasn’t able to shift it all day. Even now I’m leaning lopsidedly to avoid it, like a floppy puppet pulled by its strings. And every time I crack a joke, or someone else cracks a joke, it seems to remind me with a sharp spike that, don’t worry, it’s still there.

This crick seemed to represent an attitude I’ve come to know as “deathly Tuesday”.

It’s true that negative feelings can lead to muscle tension. The expert chiropracter I’m seeing, who says words like latissimus dorsi, says just that.

But conversations about “deathly Tuesday” were everywhere today, and it was interesting to experience their effect. Despite discussing another topic, people seemed to blame the day of the week as the source of all evil. The coffee had a bad taste? Ah yes of course, because it’s Tuesday, just my luck. You send an email to the wrong person? The blight of Tuesday blurred my vision and meant I couldn’t see the keys.

This is similar to the “false-consensus effect”- when you over estimate your feelings in order to contribute to a greater consensus. It’s cognitive bias really, and it can increase your self-confidence to feel part of something greater than yourself. By saying phrases like “Ah yes, it’s got to be because it’s Tuesday” you’re adding yourself to the pile of others blaming Tuesday for their woes. And, you’re avoiding the real source of the problems.

So future self, perhaps because by chance I had a crick in my neck today, but a lesson has been learned. It would be great in future if you choose not to let the “deathly Tuesday” talk affect you. Don’t engage in conversation about it simply because the Romans thought this day was the God of war’s day.

Embrace the day. Seize the day. And try to figure out why you got the crick in your neck in the first place so you don’t do it again. This muscle pain is real.

Love from

Sophie

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