It’s taken me a good long while to learn how to appreciate weekends. As in, truly appreciate the fact that there’s two days of freedom, to be used to recharge yourself for a week to come. Two days that should be taken seriously – instead of for granted. Like I have for way too long.
Part of that is because weekends weren’t really too much of a thing up until this point in my life. All throughout my school and earlier working years I’d experienced different types of ‘ease’ that made weekends feel slightly unnecessary, in that classical ‘recharge’ sense. I’m not saying the free time wasn’t appreciated, or that I thought them useless, it’s just that weekends didn’t really feel like weekends before.
During my school years – I was a lazy student. I didn’t have my nose in the books, and I barely showed my nose in school as well. So that kind of meant that every day could feel like a weekend, if I so chose. When studying isn’t really a necessity to pass the needed classes, taking time off is a given instead of a gift. This lasted all throughout college, where I’d be amazed at myself if I got to the campus even once a week. Spare time was abundant.
Then, when I started ‘my real job’ – weekends quickly shifted. Suddenly I WAS working. And a lot of it too. Hours that very quickly also stretched into evening hours and weekends – but felt so fun that I could convince myself it was a hobby more than work. Especially when I got into a project that had me staying in a hotel two or three nights a week to compensate for the commute into work. Well – I dunno if you’ve ever spent time in a hotel when the boss is paying – but nothing screams freedom more than luxury bedding and roomservice on someone elses conto. I thrived – loved it. And weekends were merely a reason to drop by the good old house (and ex) every once in a while. Added luxury, not a necessity.
My next project brought me a 36 hours-a-week schedule. Meaning that I’d prolong every other weekend with an extra day. A 4-day workweek and bonus Monday was all I needed to feel on top of my game all of the time. But then – then the REAL deal started. The bonus hours transformed into project time and my testing job turned into bidmanagement. And the hours on the clock just melted away into one big pool of busting-my-ass. Weekends have hardly ever been void of work for a long year, and when weeknights are also often claimed by must-finish-chores – suddenly a LOT more appreciation is birthed for the freedom the weekends offer.
So as Friday winds down into the weekend today – I am extra grateful for the next 48 hours available to me. These days I timebox differently, so as to not take work with me into the weekend. These days I try to clear my schedule to actually find the time to reload the good old battery. These days I actually live for the weekend. And not just because that’s when I get to see all of the fun people the curfew prohibits me from seeing throughout the week. Simply for its nothingness, too.