The Completely Unexpected Benefit of an Unscheduled Weekend

Sunday is coming to a close, and I can truly say that this weekend has been a smashing success. Absolutely perfect, couldn’t have asked for anything better. Why you ask? Well, I did absolutely nothing. It was as rare as finding a Starbucks store that wasn’t out of stock of the infamous Unicorn Frappucino. Might have even been as rare as an actual unicorn. By a sheer confluence of factors, I have found myself for the first time in quite a while, actually relaxing at home, enjoying an ‘I didn’t know how badly I needed this’ break. I took two naps. Two naps people!! It’s really been incredible, but I can’t help but wonder why it is that these types of weekends don’t seem to materialize more often.

The true behind the scenes reason for this weekend’s laid back vibe has been the weather. We have had a few days of rain with some massive thunderstorms and even hail thrown in last night for good measure, so the gloomy weather just lent itself much more to staying in and enjoying some hot chocolate and Netflix. The weather itself was responsible for some plans needing to be canceled, a get together at a friend’s house and softball tonight. As bummed out as I was to have a monkey wrench thrown into my plans at the last minute, it really freed up quite a few hours which I have been relishing ever since. If you have read some of my last few posts you know that life has been a bit hectic these past few weeks, yet even though I have written before about the importance of taking time to just completely unwind and relax, the reality is far more complicated.

For me, it is just inevitable that work happens on the weekends relatively frequently, it’s a part of getting a PhD a lot of the time. On top of that, I do enjoy making time to enjoy a dinner out with friends, or volunteering on the weekends. All of these things are valuable and enriching, and I truly do believe make my life better for doing them, but they still take time and effort. Time and effort which I realize I don’t really take into account in the moment as I am making plans. Volunteering to package ready-made meals for needy families at 9am on a Saturday is a worthwhile endeavor, so the idea sounds especially great in the moment which is why I spent an earlier Saturday in April doing precisely this, but it still takes a toll. Similarly, looking forward to doing something physical on Sunday nights by playing softball, and being a part of a team has been quite enjoyable, but last week, I was literally falling asleep in the car on the way back home after the game (thank goodness my husband was driving)!

Even when I don’t have any paid work to do, and I haven’t made any plans with anyone, I still end up doing all sorts of things during the weekends. Grocery shopping, or as I like to call it, the bane of my existence, comes to mind. Did you know that one side effect of having stores and businesses open on weekends is that *shocker* people tend to go to in them and run errands. Apparently in other countries such as in Italy, there are fewer stores open on the weekends, so people are kind of forced to take care of certain necessities during the week, which is meant to leave more time on the weekend for leisure. I do like being able to make an ice cream run at 11pm on a Saturday night as much as the next person, but these folks may be unto something. Even if I delegate grocery shopping, I still tend to leave most of my share of the cleaning and house maintenance until the weekend, as I usually have very little gas left in the tank after a long day at work to find myself dusting my ceiling fans (note to self: dust ceiling fans next weekend).

This is my life now, and the scheduled nature of my weekends seems kind of crazy, and I haven’t even had children yet. Whenever I am reading other blogs of people that have kids or talk to any of my friends that have children, the death march of kid’s weekend sporting and social activities comes up. It is real and it does seem somewhat insane, yet no one has ever said that they would seriously consider not having their in little league because they would like to have more unscheduled free time (although I wouldn’t judge you if you did).

So I’m going to just enjoy this weekend for what it was; something completely unexpected that I didn’t know was so badly needed, and spend my last few hours of blissful nothingness with some reading in bed otherwise known as a great way to kick off a brand new, very full, but hopefully great week.


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