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?”