Not Doing Too Much on The Weekend

Trying to resist the urge to cram too much good stuff into the weekend.

It’s about this time each week and especially before a holiday weekend where I start feeling the excitement of having a few days away from work. Along with that excitement inevitably comes a wave of “wow, I can do this, this, this, and this too, with all the time available to me this weekend”. I’m learning that if I’m not aware of this feeling that I need to maximize the free time represented by the weekend, rather than allowing that time to be relaxing and recharge me, I end up overplanning it and turning the time into a source of stress, by wondering if what I’m doing at each moment is exactly what I should be doing to maximize my “enjoyment” of the time. When this happens I find myself never enjoying what it is I’m doing at the moment, as my thoughts are on either trying to pick just the right thing to do next or wonder if what I’m doing right now is the best thing I can be doing with this precious time off-the-clock.

As usual, I found myself beginning to experience these feelings when thinking about Saturday morning. I started to think about all the things I could do, like get my bike ride in early, go to yoga on a Saturday, which I rarely, if ever can do, since I started my cycling training, head to the farmer’s market with my wife…and that’s where I caught myself and stopped the train of ideas.

I realize now that what triggered this awareness in my thought process was me beginning to visualize my schedule in my head, and starting to neatly stack the multi-colored appointment blocks, one after another, on the Saturday morning part of the calendar. Even now just writing about it, I’m experiencing some tension in my stomach and around my eyes, while also starting to hold my breath.

Now that I’ve been able to recognize and become aware of this tendency and the feelings that come with it, I’m able to catch myself before the tendency starts to roll into action and pick up momentum. Having a chance to catch my breath before the ball starts rolling lets me remember how much I’m enjoying my shift in perspective that has allowed me to look at the weekend as an opportunity to rest, relax, and recharge, as opposed to blow off steam and feel more exhausted on Monday morning than I was on the previous Friday afternoon.

In a way, it’s the anticipation of feeling ready to tackle another week when Monday rolls around that’s informing what I decide to do with my weekends. While this way of looking at things may be a little too forward thinking to be in the moment as much as I’d like to be more consistently, it does feel like it’s been an effective way to remind myself to not do too much on the weekend and enjoy the weekend more as a result.

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