Friday, September 4, 2009

Looking Forward to A Long Labor Day Weekend

All summer I’ve been working a 4-day (though longer days) work week, Monday through Thursday. This is my first week back with the regular schedule. While I surely miss the abbreviated work week, in some ways it feels good to be part of the herd again, realizing that much of the world is synchronized in a similar schedule. There were times when I felt like a real outlaw on those Fridays – sleeping as late as 8:30 or so, enjoying lunch out for more than a rushed hour, wondering what the poor Monday-through-Fridayers were doing while I was enjoying the good life… It was the same feeling I got on those rare occasions when my mom insisted I stay home from school when I actually felt well enough, as if having been given a free pass. Have you ever had a random day off, and taken notice of an entirely different world out there, going on at the same time? I’ve often wondered where all these people come from, what other thing they do for a living, these shoppers who populate stores in the middle of the afternoon, or relaxed people driving around with their sun roofs open, maybe eating an ice cream cone? Do they work at night, or do they not work at all? If they work at night, why aren’t they sleeping? Is this their day off as well, or are they independently wealthy and have all the free time in the world? Rather than try to solve the world’s problems, these are the things that run through my brain.

Fridays are good days. Before I became an NPR junkie, driving to work I’d listen to morning radio talk shows. There was one station that, on Friday mornings, played the reggae song with the lyrics, “I don’t want to work, I want to play on my drum all day.” Just hearing that made me smile. It was such an upbeat, happy tune and set a positive tone not only for Friday but for the upcoming weekend as well.

Working on Fridays allows me to appreciate the weekend so much more. Like many people, the early part of the weekend is filled with things I have to do, that I don’t have time for during the work week. But once that list is cleared, a casual sense of liberation takes over and then my brain has an opportunity to relax. Only as Sunday evening approaches do I consciously consider the following work week. I can plan to my heart’s content Monday through Friday, but weekends are meant for a little less structure.

So, I look forward to this long, Labor Day weekend. I’m headed, on Saturday, to the Shaker Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts with my daughter Katie and her family, and then we’ll go on to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge followed by lunch at the Red Lion Inn. You know I’m going to blog about that! On Sunday, I’m invited to an early Labor Day picnic at my ex-husband’s house (yes, we are able to do that). He and his wife often graciously invite me to their home whenever they have a family function. It’s important to us that our kids never have to worry about divided loyalties, and it works out.

I wish you all a restful, rejuvenating Labor Day weekend. Sleep late and enjoy every minute!

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