You might think that I am talking about Wednesdays as being hump day, as in, the middle of the week, all downhill from here, smell the finish line, light at the end of the tunnel etc.
In this case it actually refers to my time as a mental health intern when I had very full work days. I worked at a counseling center 3 days a week. Mondays were usually 5 to 6 client hours. Tuesday mornings were full of meetings and then another 4 client hours in the afternoon. Wednesday consisted of 8 client hours and 1 supervision hour… that’s right; Wednesday was a 9-hour day, which meant it was a 10+ hour day given the 35minute commute each way.
So why would I be touting Wednesdays as my favorite work day and then wish this kind of work day for all of us?
The answer is that somehow fate, or the cosmos/universe/higher power sent me 8 of the most amazing clients I have ever had in my mental health career, all on the same day. This was no small feat given what Monday’s and Tuesday’s clients were like, and given the typical child protective service, rehab program, and recently out of jail/prison referrals that comprised 90% of our clients. Most of my clients, including Wednesday clients, fell into these categories and my Wednesday clients had at least as many serious problems and issues as any others who had been referred, or mandated to be there.
So what made the difference?
The biggest difference was that somehow all 8 of my Wednesday clients wanted to change and indeed were committed to doing whatever it took to make it so. One of my clients said, “Welfare is a hand up, not a hand out.” They were ready and willing to do their lives differently. They would listen to my suggestions go out into the world, try them, and come back and tell me what they had discovered. Many said things like, “I never thought that was possible.”
This was over 20 years ago, and I still remember being energized from the moment I woke up on Wednesday to the time I turned in for the evening on those amazing days.
I could not wait to go to work and see what my clients had discovered and how they had changed their lives in the previous week. They often said they could not wait for Wednesday to arrive so they could tell me all of the awesome things that had happened since our previous session.
What I want for all of us is to find work in our zone of genius, and to strive for the goal of having every moment of our work life be energy giving and that we have more aliveness when we leave work than when we arrived.