anatomy of a weekend

I was just thinking about conversations I’ve had in the past about weekends and my favorite parts of them. And it occurred to me the reasons behind my choices… (This assessment assumes you work 8-5 M-F like a normal person.)

I have always hated Sundays, and I probably always will. Everything you didn’t get to do during the weekend – whether fun and pleasurable or burdensome and due Monday morning – gets heaped upon you at the last minute. You simultaneously stress over the assignments left to finish AND feel guilty about all the fun stuff you didn’t do while you had the chance. And if you’re one of the lucky people without homework or housework or unrequited weekend plans, you still can’t enjoy the evening hours because you know you have to rise and shine for work the next morning. Your fun has to end by 7 or 8 o’clock on a Sunday night.

I do like Saturdays, but they aren’t my favorite days either. Saturdays really are the one day of the week where I am not committed to anything. (I am committed to the Humane Society, but that’s play, not work.) I could sleep in and take a bath and sit around reading all day. Or I could go shopping or talk on the phone with friends back at home. Or I could spend half the day working and the other half at the gym and the grocery store (the likeliest of all scenarios). Basically, I can do anything I want with any given Saturday. Therein lies the problem.

Much like a Sunday night when you realize you haven’t accomplished half the leisure activities you had planned throughout Friday’s workday, Saturday offers too much pressure. Are you doing all that fun stuff? Are you taking advantage of every single blissful moment of freedom? What if a plan falls through? You can’t be expected to waste half a Saturday waiting around for someone and then find out he or she is busy. You need to make big plans and grand gestures – Saturday is like your last hoorah.

So my gaze falls to Friday, being the only day left with any semblance of leisure. Friday really has always been my favorite day of the week. In these past conversations about weekends, it has been said by the opposing party that Fridays still involve work, and by the time you’re released in droves like once-penned, undernourished cattle, you have just enough energy to run out of the gate before lying down in the pasture for the night. They claimed that Friday nights aren’t as good for partying as Saturday nights, because you had to arise at 6:30 in the morning and spend most of the day at the office.

To that, I say, Does it look like I have a life?

I don’t party. I don’t even stay up late most of the time. So, to me, the ability to stretch an evening to 2 a.m. and close down the bar doesn’t really apply or appeal. Instead, I revel in the small victory and release that is Friday. I love that casual, friendly vibe that permeates the office environment on Friday. Even when everyone is still at his desk, typing away, he’s doing it in Levi’s instead of Dockers, Nike trainers instead of loafers. Everyone smiles a little more and laughs a little louder than the day before. And when 5 o’clock rolls around, I get to drive slowly home, soaking up the first rays of freedom. I start planning my weekend in an easygoing way, not yet stressed about what I will or won’t have time to accomplish – the world is my oyster on Friday evenings, and I still feel like I can conquer the world.

Once I get home on Friday, I often feel so free that I will indulge in those activities that escape me the rest of the week: shaving my legs, doing a crossword puzzle, blogging. And, in the end, those are the things that push back the should-dos of the weekend and leave me stressed and biting my nails on Sunday night. But Friday feels like the doorway to a magical kingdom that is self dictated and without end. So I slip into a bubble bath and crack open one of many books I’m currently reading. I lie down on the futon and don’t get up for two hours. I dance around to Pandora and chat with friends online. There’s no pressure, no worry and no remorse over chores left undone.

What are your feelings on weekends? Do you have a favorite or least favorite part? I’m living my favorite part right now, and enjoying every minute of it.


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