Friday, June 5, 2009

When your working days are through

I really look forward to weekends this days. To a ridiculous degree, really.

It's not that work is so bad. In fact, it's quite flexible, often creative, and (in the summer at least) low-stress. It's just that weekend things are extra-special.

What are weekend things? Well, there's the pleasure of consuming items that are forbidden under my No-S Diet. Sodas, mainly. That first cola of the weekend is something I look forward to, way too much. And chocolate. That food and drink that I enjoy so much -- it's a big reason I approach every weekend with delight and anticipation.

Then there's sleeping late. I only get one morning of sleeping past 7 am every week: Saturday. Noel gets Sunday. On Friday night I stay up extra late, I read as long as I want, and then when Archer bursts into our room in the morning with his usual, "Mom and Dad, it's time to get up," I turn over and close my eyes again. I really love sleeping. So an extra couple of hours of sleep is a rare and wonderful pleasure.

If there's something in theaters that we want to see, we get a babysitter and go out for a date night of dinner and a movie. Actually having a conversation that lasts longer than thirty seconds feels quite indulgent.

And usually Noel takes the kids somewhere for most of an afternoon, leaving me the house to myself. I use that time either to knit or to organize my knitting stuff. That doesn't sound very exciting, I know, but it represents something I do just for me, just because it brings me joy and makes me feel creative, productive, and in control. I treasure those hours and try to make the most of them.

If you're young, single, childless, and ambitious, this might sound truly sad. Is this all I have in life? Do I slave away all week over a hot dry-erase board just for a few extra hours of sleep and knitting on the couch?

But it all means a lot more than it did just a few years ago. The routine of child care, work, and self-discipline is unsustainable without built-in respites. Conscious enjoyment of those breaks gives life a shape, time an arc. I feel deep happiness in those days and moments of pure indulgence.

1 comment:

the secret knitter said...

Your circumstances and mine are certainly different, but I had to learn that I need to guard weekends from work or whatever else may impinge on "my" time. We have a cultural disdain for taking breaks, but time to recharge or not be productive is so essential.