If Every Day is the Weekend, When is the Weekend?

Sunday

Timing

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

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I started writing this missive a week ago when I was still in “practice retirement”.  Since that time I’ve returned to working full time which means that right now there’s that very clear distinction between working days and weekend days.  I’m back to saving up the fun things and relaxing things and catch-up things for the weekends and knowing that fitting things into the working week will continue to be the stress that it’s always been for at least the next two months.  Nonetheless, how to differentiate these “types” of days once I am retired continues to challenge my thinking. 

In many ways, despite my hippie background and fairly bohemian perspective on the world, I’m a creature of habit.  Patterns set in with the first light of morning; actually a little before that because I tend to set my alarm for 6 a.m. even in the winter months when there’s not even a glimmer of sunlight that early in the day.  There’s a kind of black, patent leather loafer that I found in a shoe-store about 15 years ago; over the years I’ve bought them 3 pairs at a time because they’re a favorite.  In an attempt to retain a girlish figure – a fantasy at best – I limit deserts and drinking to the weekends.  I stay up late on the weekend.  I kayak on the weekend because that’s the only time I can get David to help me maneuver the kayak onto the roof of the car and into the river.  I take my mother to matinee movies on the weekend.  The week is for work and the weekend’s for playing (on a good weekend at least).  Now, suddenly, with the work-week to become just an abstract concept for me, I’m wondering how to organize my time when every day is a weekend.

I am definitely not complaining about this, don’t get me wrong.  The luxury of being able to decide on a Thursday morning that I’d like to go apple-picking, or visit with a friend, or hunker down with a good book (right now I’m reading Eat, pray, love:  One woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia – well, how could I not be grateful for that?  What I’m wondering about, though, is how do I differentiate weekend from the rest of the week once I’ve retired?

A typical week when I’m working might look something like this:

Sunday

Timing

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Reel Talk

 

Breakfast with

my son

 

Kayak photo

6 a.m.

Get up and get ready for work

 

Shul

 

Kayak

 

Lunch and movie with Mom

 

Saturday night fever!

7:30

Arrive in office; review “to do “ list and the day’s news and briefings

9:00 – 12

Respond to e-mail, move projects along, attend meetings, prepare briefing notes, respond to questions etc. etc.

12 – 1:30

Workout at the local Y

1:30 – 5:30

More meetings, more work, more planning

5:30 – 6:30

Drive home.  Pick up groceries and run errands on the way.

6:30 – 9

Prepare dinner, eat, clean up.  Begin the endless run of chores to do at home.

9 – 11

Prepare lectures for the course I teach, work on the blog, prepare up-coming workshops and keynotes

11 – 12

Catch up on reading

12 – 6

Sleep

Evening add-ons

 Teach course

Dinner with Mom

Take bridge class

Prepare Friday dinner

Dinner with Mom

What will the week look like, though, when I take all of the “working” parts out of it?  

You might be asking yourself why I think I need such a differentiation, and that’s a solid question.  Somehow, in my head (and please correct me if you think I’m wrong about this) there’s real value to having some days of the week marked as play days different from the rest.  All week you work; whether at a paying job as I have up until now or at the kinds of things I’m hoping to do when I turn in my office keys (that’s a moment I need to give some thought to; anticipation of that event fills me with both excitement and fear).  If I don’t finish something up at work during the day on Monday I take it home and finish it on Monday night.  Work overflows from one day to the next and then – tada – it’s a couple of free days.  That has worked when the work-week was defined by clauses in a contract.  How can I maintain that same sense of having a couple of days when expectations are different, when the assumption is that I’m not doing chores or errands?  How do I say that these are my “days off” when there aren’t necessarily any days on?

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5 responses to “If Every Day is the Weekend, When is the Weekend?

  1. This for me is an on-going situation. When you work you can take some time to flop. By Friday night you’ve earned the right to go out for dinner and then take to your bed with a stack of magazines and a dish of peanuts. (Not the Economist and Walrus. Trash!)

    When you’re retired you can get over earnest and feel that every moment has to be filled with something worthy. I try to get housework done during the week….washing on Monday, vacuuming on Thursday or Friday.

    Saturdays I continue to go to the St Lawrence Market by seven with my friend Marc. I’ve taken a page from Eleanor Minuk’s mother’s book. Ruth always had her family for Friday night dinner with all four food groups and the kids slept over. My daughter drops off the grand-kids before noon on Sunday and comes back with her husband for dinner (always with the food groups in mind.)
    The real bliss for me is Sunday nights…reading or hanging out with friends. When I was teaching I was always thinking, “when are they going to go home?” because there was always the marking and preparation for Monday.
    Jane

  2. One thing I’ve noticed, is there is a natural differentiation due the fact that most of our social engagements are still on the weekends. Since most of our friends are still working, they can mostly only “play” on the weekends. So that sort of reminds me what day it is.

    Every Monday I go meet a working friend on her lunch hour for a walk and every Tuesday I meet another retired friend for tennis and lunch. So those days are pretty well marked also. The rest of them, though, I have to concentrate pretty hard to remember what day it is.

    By the way, Eat, Pray, Love is my all-time favorite book.

  3. Having two years left before I retire from teaching, I have also begun to think about how my time will be organized. For the past 31 years as a teacher I have been controlled by bells and timelines. I think many of us develop a sick fixation about being on time.
    I am seeing a thread in the blog postings, and that is that successful retirees plan some over-arching structure to the week with lots of time for spontaneity.
    I think about some of the daytime activities that I have, so far, been unable to participate in, like the Hadassah Bazaar. Now that this is its final year, I wonder what other little events I have saved up for will not await me when I arrive.

    Interesting about Eat, Pray, Love. That’s what I’m reading now, too. Is this some sort of shared consciousness happening through the ether?

  4. Opportunities pass…I waited too long to be old enough for a fur coat; and now it would be SO uncool. Sylvie, I think you’d better do Antarctica in December. Who knows what might happen? Greenpeace invading the Falklands?
    Jane

  5. Thank you, bloggers. I’ve started my reading list!
    I know structured time will be important to me – part time work, volunteerism or meeting people at a certain day/time each week. For the first while (maybe 2 months) no structure, no plans – except more sleep.
    Esther
    Esther

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