The Last Weekend

I hope you’re enjoying this final weekend of 2020. It’s the one many of us have been anticipating with baited breath. Perhaps we will get a well-deserved respite from this insane year. But wait, the next weekend, the first one of 2021 will be a three-day marathon beginning with New Year’s Day on Friday.

“Old timers, weekends, and airplane landings are alike. If you can walk away from them, they’re successful.”–American League Baseball Hall of Fame star–Casey Stengel

When I was a young boy who did not understand the etymology of the days of the week. I used to think that Sundays were supposed to be sunny days. I was disappointed when the Sun seemed to disobey the calendar. I still get a little bummed out when Sundays aren’t sunny. That disappointment about the weather probably will not be solved by meteorologists in our lifetime. At least we can appreciate those unexpected sunny weekends when they do happen.

Throughout most of my life, I worked jobs that required weekend work on one or both days of the weekend. Days off work happened during other people’s workweek. It’s difficult planning time together with friends when one’s day off is Tuesday or Thursday. Days off for employees during the middle of the week are more common nowadays because fewer retail stores are closed on Sundays. I try to refrain from shopping on the weekends because I remember the hectic nature of working supermarket weekend shifts. As a department manager, I was required to work Saturdays and Sundays because customer service peaked during the weekends. If for some reason, I must buy food on a weekend, I keep my order small and simple to check out.

This year, the pandemic and lock-downs caused many people to be absent from work. Either work hours were curtailed, or they were laid-off permanently. Working jobs remotely from home, when possible became much more common. Working from home creates more ambiguity as domestic life dovetails more with one’s career or job. Electronic commuters are more likely to work on the weekend.

Meantime, to people who are newly unemployed, days off are too numerous. Most of them would prefer having a regular job that provides conventional weekend time off. Being idle during a person’s most productive years is frustrating. We like to feel needed. It’s good for individuals to contribute to the well-being of society by doing useful work. Weekends are less meaningful to the unemployed or unemployable. Joblessness affects a person’s overall lifestyle. The jobless are less likely to volunteer for charity, they spend far less time with friends and family. They tend to spend more time alone on weekends than people who are employed.

“By the dawn of the millennium, the hallways at Microsoft were no longer home to barefoot programmers in Hawaiian shirts working through nights and weekends toward a common goal of excellence; instead, life behind the thick corporate walls had become staid and brutish.”–journalist and best-selling author, Kurt Eichenwald

Even for those of us who have been privileged to work we love. Regardless of how satisfying the job might be, we appreciate weekends. There is always something else we find deeply rewarding. We can do other things that are fun and interesting. It’s good and healthy to take weekend breaks during very rewarding, satisfying careers. Without recess, any work can become tedious and limiting. It’s good to be able to participate in other things we want to do.

So, regardless of your work status, I hope you take the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy this final weekend of the year. May we live to have many more weekends to enjoy in 2021.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes author and journalist, Hal Borland. “Weekend planning is a prime time to apply the Deathbed Priority Test: On your deathbed, will you wish you’d spent more prime weekend hours grocery shopping or walking in the woods with your kids?”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Meanderings and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Last Weekend

  1. Another exciting topic about which there would be a lot to be said….
    Surely you know Zen Buddhist koans. One that fits very well is this:

    A very stressed man went to a Zen master for advice on his unsatisfactory situation. After bringing up his problem, the Master said, “Meditate for half an hour every day.”

    “But how should I do that? I don’t have time to do only the most important things. ”
    “Then you should meditate for 2 hours every day”.

    Most of us who complain about not having enough free time would prbably react the same way – Inconsistency, confusion….. . I’ve cited this example a couple of times in conversations over the years. In response, I got to hear, among other things, “Yes, you can talk easily, you are privileged, you have, you may, you whatever … If I could afford a cleaner, then I could also sit down and meditate”.

    Which brings us back to your frog….

    • swabby429 says:

      Yes, this story has been used by the present Dalai Lama several times. It’s one I’ve told myself when I’m tempted to skip meditation. Thanks for your reflections.

  2. The present Dalai Lama is one of the wisest personalities of our time and it is a pity that so many unhappy people have never read anything from him.

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