This morning I read an article that was a series of quotes supposedly about leadership They were from the Dowager Countess or Whatever-her-name-is from Downton Abbey (find here). I haven’t watched that show, but I’m thinking I should start. The article took one-liners from her and slipped them into leadership advice. One of the quotes was “What is a weekend?” If you’re not familiar with the show either, some context helps. She is the matriarch of a wealthy British family around the very early 1900’s. Apparently, every day is like a Saturday, or else they work every day, so there is no break on Saturday and Sunday. And no holidays except maybe Christmas? Which is connected to my lifestyle now that I’m on sabbatical.
As one who is not employed, and not having a housemate who has to get off to work somewhere, it’s not always obvious when the weekend or a holiday is upon me. Except daytime tv (especially the Hallmark channel) is better on weekends, what with tv marathons and movies instead of talk shows and reruns of sitcoms.
I used to look forward to Casual Fridays, and I stressed over Monday mornings, but I enjoyed Saturday and Sunday. Catching up on my sleep on Saturday was a luxury I dreamed of but couldn’t often indulge, and if we/I went somewhere, we/I had to be home before supper Sunday to get ready for the next week. (Now I don’t go anywhere. This needs to change.) Laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, errands like getting a haircut, were usually done on a Saturday since I was too tired after work during the week to brave the traffic and crowds. I thought I would enjoy doing the grocery store and other errands during the week now, but it’s funny how you can lose track of time. I have struggled to find my guilty pleasure like a long lunch, or a spontaneous drive to get out of town on Saturday. No day is particularly special right now, but I’ll admit that Mondays are much more relaxing than they used to be.
I find it challenging to be motivated some days since I have all day to do something, and if I don’t get it done, I have tomorrow and the day after that, and the next day after that. I gave up weekends, I guess; Saturdays and Sundays just roll one day into another. It’s hard to swim upstream against the rest of the world’s schedule. Festivals and fairs are usually held on weekends, sales typically start on weekends, friends are available on traditional weekends.
The value of this sabbatical is that I have time now to ponder things like this and test out various theories or sample new ways of doing things. And it’s important I do this. Because I don’t have to (I don’t get to) adapt to my husband’s work schedule. It’s all about me, getting to know me this way, finding out what kind of creature of habit I am. This kind of freedom is a bit overwhelming sometimes. I have days when I feel like I’m in freefall. And those days are often Mondays, like today. It took me two months to get rested from at least the last year of high stress and grieving. I think I’m ready to get to work now – work on my book, work on my yard, work on figuring out my Next Big Thing. It’s Monday, the start of a week, and a great time to get to work on something new. And I think I’ll make plans for Saturday, so I can enjoy the weekend again.