Yesterday afternoon, I visited an English professor in his office to talk about a paper I am writing and a bibliography that was due that evening. Although I hadn’t finished mine yet, he said it was okay if I didn’t get it done Friday evening – I could just get it to him later in the weekend. In his hands was a stack of bibliographies to look over, and his desk was covered in books, papers, you name it. At the end of our meeting, I said, “Have a nice weekend!” He said, “Same to you, Brooke.”
I walked out of his office musing on that small exchange. A million times on Friday, I wish people a happy weekend. I ask them, “What are you doing this weekend? Any fun plans?” When people ask how I’m doing on Friday, I say, almost automatically, “I’m so tired from the week – I’m just glad it’s the weekend.”
When in fact, I have bibliographies to finish on the weekend. Plus a MILLION OTHER THINGS! Homework! Studying for tests! Music practice! Taxes, filling out applications, emails, errands to run, thank-you cards to write, books to read, events to attend, cleaning and calling and researching. Basically, everything I didn’t finish in the week that needs to be done and got pushed back. Why do I ever expect to NOT be tired after the weekend’s over?
I wished my English professor a good weekend, but we both know that the idea of the perfect, relaxing weekend is an urban myth. Nonexistent (except in the movies).
Will there ever be a day in my life where I can get to the weekend and think, “Well, I can just kick back and relax this weekend because I don’t have anything that needs to get done?”
Fat chance. The fact is, we in America are BUSY. We are over-achievers. And honestly, there is just a lot to do when you are a student, a professional, a parent, a friend, and a contributing citizen. A whole lot.
The weekend, in all its glory, has been built up in the American mind to be simultaneously our savior, our catch-all, and our primary source of energy to carry us to the next weekend. It’s supposed to simultaneously function as our much-needed respite after a full five days of work, our time to be productive, and our Propel and gasoline for life. Thus, why many of us tend to be frustrated with either our lack of productivity over the weekend or our lack of rest. Expectations for the weekend are so high – are they ever met with this multi-faceted view of the weekend?
One of these days, I think each of us has to choose. We will do one of two things. We might abolish the idea of having two days out of a seven-day week devoted to rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation and just decide to make every day a workday. Why rest? This is America! We’re go-getters! We have a lot on our plates.
The other thing we could do is to intentionally try to bring rest and relaxation back into our weekends. To maybe set aside the to-do list; do a couple extra hours of work on Friday afternoon so the weekend can actually be characterized by respite. To allow ourselves some spiritual, emotional, and physical rest on Saturday and Sunday so that we don’t burn out on Monday with the demands of our overstimulating lives.
Maybe we could all learn something from Rebecca Black…
(if you haven’t had the privilege of viewing her lovely music video, I’ve provided the link for your viewing pleasure. You might walk away with a new appreciation for “Friday” and for the “fun, fun, fun, fun” that the weekend brings (as well as for the apparent ease of earning fame and fortune on iTunes with simple, inane , repetitive lyrics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0 🙂 )
That being said, have a good weekend. Go bury your to-do list and do something fun 🙂