Ah, the weekend beckons.
Even though many around the globe have non-traditional work that requires odd hours, days, etc., for much of the workforce the weekend beckons. Even as I write my friends in New Zealand are well into their Friday night revelries, loud or soft as they may be.
We cherish these few days.
And why not? A whole two days (or in my form of advanced accounting, three, as Friday, by my definition is part of the weekend) to do as we please. We can sleep in to catch up on our rest after those long hours in the office (and that excessive Friday-night perhaps)! Note though that the latest research suggests sleeping in actually does more harm than good as we disrupt the biologique clock we’ve just spent four days fine-tuning.
We can dress down and not worry as much about the suits we wear and that carefully cropped three-day stubble males seek to attain. Why do our shadows never look as sexy as Kevin Costner’s or Jason Statham’s?
We take up golf, gardening, the book club, a poker game, some shopping, dabble in antiquing, partying, maybe try some finer cooking from Guy Fieri to Giada De Lauerentiss. We enjoy our downtime. And of course en Los Estados Unidos we now have time for footbal. For two days. For hours on end. Except, it’s really three, because I live in Texas and high school football is Friday night, and high school football is as close as we get to state religion.
So many things we do to occupy and enjoy ourselves when not at work. So many crestfallen faces as we head back to Monday. Did you ever wonder why that has to be? Of course it doesn’t.
Without getting into the societal debate of capitalism as way of life, we can agree sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Even the Seven Dwarfs didn’t sing their way through every work day. And yet, short of changing careers, companies, jobs or bosses (the largest challenge) what are we to do? Is there a way to bring a little of the weekend into the weekday? Yes Virginia, there is.
Much of what we do that brings pleasure in our downtime has to do with being our real self. We don’t pretend or posture when we’re attending a pottery class or watching our favorite college team. And we often find ourselves interacting with other people with similar interests. That’s fun.
So let’s start at the beginning of our work week. Look for environments where being yourself is more conducive. You don’t have to change companies much less fields to find a place where you may feel more at home. Every occupation shares traits – examine how to bring more of yourself to yours.
Look beyond the superficial. Your coworkers are complete persons with all the meaning – high and low – that connotes. Take the time, over time, to find out just a little bit more about what makes your closest coworkers who they are. Interview the whole company a lá Oprah? No. But perhaps be a little less dismissive and a little more inquisitive. Odds are you rub shoulders with some pretty interesting folks if you just seek to understand them a little more.
And Just maybe recognize that for all the downside you find in work, there is upside as well. Do you recognize it? Long after a divorce we recognize our former partner had many attributes we took for granted or simply didn’t appreciate. Work is like that too: concentrate on what you enjoy instead of focusing on what you don’t.
Will work ever be like the weekend? I’m not sure, and I’m not sure I want it to be. Wouldn’t that simply make every day the same and by definition become boring?
Work can though be less dreaded and denigrated. Some of the same things we enjoy with our time off can be incorporated into the workday. If we simply work at it.