Welcome to my Weekend
How I stopped living for it
Starting from the time I was about 22, and really once I hit the 24-25 age, I started planning workouts, classes, and activities for early Saturday and Sunday mornings. Why? I needed an excuse to stop with the stupid drinking. I wanted to be productive and feel good, work out hard, and be productive on the weekends.
And I didn’t have the courage to tell my friends or roommates at the time I didn’t want to go out, or no I don’t actually want that glass (or bottle) of wine.
I bet many of us right now are a little bummed that weekends are not what they were. That now, being forced to be home, you’re missing the social-let’s-let-loose-work-week-is-done activity. And I understand that. But I’m here to share a different perspective. I’ve spent about 30 years getting to the point of not just living for the weekend but trying to live for every day. So here we are again sitting on another opportunity to embrace this weird and uncomfortable reality and create a new normal for our weekends.
I went hard in college. I went hard after college. Someone put that Emily on a leash.
And it’s hysterical now because in that regard, I am night and day different. My friends and coworkers now only know the bed by 9, up before dawn, coffee chugging Spartan racing nutjob.
What can I say? I’ve always been an all or nothing type of gal.
If you ain’t first you’re last. So say Ricky Bobby. So say I.
Those first few years after college are strange. Hell, the first decade is a bit of a nightmare. You don’t know what’s going on. But each day teaches you a small bit about who you are, what you want to do, and who you want to be. You start to settle into the grown up life whether you realize it or not.
It was around that time, the post undergraduate age, that I found myself in my first job job. My career job. Me and many other early 20 somethings. And I did (and still do for the most part) what everyone else does.
Wake up. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
Wake up. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
And of course, there was plenty of fun social things sprinkled in. Happy hours, workouts, and what not. Letting loose on the weekends with the rest of the worker drones. And everyone else was doing it, and they seem to enjoy it, right?
Yet I started to panic a bit thinking, oh god is this it? Week in and week out this is my new normal? Some days I loved going to work and loved that structure and security. Other days, I freaked out at the formality of it all. Wondering what was it that I was really doing at the end of the day. And if I didn’t do it, what would really happen?
The suffocating normalcy of it all. I realize some people need that normalcy. They like that structure and they thrive in it. But back then and even still today, I started to question it. And I started to wonder if this ‘dread Monday and live for Friday’ life was for me.
And in light of recent events, when all of our days are forced to look the same, I think it’s a fascinating opportunity to really pick this whole idea apart.
Do you remember the first time you dreaded a Monday? The first time you had a ‘case of the Mondays’? Or the first time you got excited for Friday because the weekend was finally here? What about the first time you heard the expression “hump day?” Or the “Sunday Scaries,” do you get those?
Those correlations have been ingrained in our brains for years and years. Why though? Why do we just accept that and tie those emotions to days of the week? How weird we all are.
On average, our society hates Monday. We got to get over that hump on Wednesday. And we live for Friday. Then Sunday hits, we get the scaries, and we do it all again.
Over and over and over. Until we die.
I’m not saying living like this is by any means a bad thing. If it’s working for you, great! Keep doing it! But wow it was not working for me.
So I started scheduling workouts. Or signing up for races. I found part time jobs. I got a role in a local musical. Took acting classes and improv. Bartended, served, worked for about three weeks at a kid’s gym only to realize running around in circles with a group of 6 year olds blows.
I realized I was started to build a life that didn’t stop. And I was searching. Searching for something to give me a little more life out of the 9-6 job I was starting to resent. And searching for a way to stop living for two days instead of all seven.
Now. At 30. My days all look mostly the same. Yes, I still splurge a bit on the weekends. And yes, Sunday tends to still be a day to rest, relax, and gear up for another week. But you know what’s missing? Dread. The dread of a new stressful week. When your days, at least the behavior patterns you follow throughout them, are consistent, there’s no space for dread because you know what’s coming.
Maybe it just comes with time and experience. But I’ve learned now to find hours and times in my days and throughout my week to breathe. Instead of having all this pent up stress and steam to blow off on the weekends. I recognize when it’s building up throughout the week and if I can make it work, I find a window to unplug or schedule something for me.
I also started sticking to the same wake up time every day. At least within the same hour. Sure, it’s a little earlier on the weekdays and little later on the weekends. But overall, it’s the same. I like discipline. I like knowing I only have myself to blame if I miss something, skip something, feel something. By sticking to a wake up routine I already have a little more control over my day and my thoughts.
Work weeks can be hard to manipulate. Meetings can’t move. Travel can’t budge. But what are ways you can bring aspects of what you love about ‘living for the weekend’ to your weekday?
When I first opted for staying in over going out. Or opted for a great dinner instead of happy hour. It was weird. Felt like I wasn’t doing the weekend right. But I started loving how I felt the next day and started feeling proud that it was possible for me to have that control over my life and make those decisions. So simple. So stupid simple.
And now we all have more time on our hands. Friday isn’t necessarily the Friday you used to know. But how can you make it work for you? And maybe start a new normal that you carry with you.
As someone who lives life 90% quarantined anyway, embrace feeling uncomfortable. If you used to live for the weekends and that was your previous normal, how can you adjust that? Or if you want that back then good! Your choice. And that’s just it. It’s your choice.
Your choice to live for every day not every weekend. Turn your weekend into something your future self will thank you for. Sign in for a virtual workout class. Find a yoga video on YouTube. Go for a morning run. Cook a good breakfast for yourself. Tackle that project now instead of waiting for Sunday. We’re making up normal as we go these days, kids.
So while it may feel weird to sit at home on a Friday or Saturday night, give that big ol’ weird uncomfortable feeling a hug and let it teach you a thing or two about why it’s uncomfortable or why, dare I say it, it’s a relief?
Happy Weekend. Cheers to a new day, whatever day that is.