“Have a great weekend!” As friendly and innocuous a statement as one person could share with another, I’ll readily admit. In a world characterized by conflict and divisive rhetoric from our “leaders”, couldn’t we all benefit from the spread of cheer and well wishes? Of course. We need more of that kind of good juice, if we’re ever to move forward amicably as a civilized species. So don’t think less of me for sharing the fact that those words have historically made me furious.
Not because there is any ill will secretly embedded in that salutation. But instead, because it has always served as a personal reminder, with me reading in between the lines in a manner only befitting a madman. When I’d receive such communications of kindness from a friend or associate, I’d seethe. Because in it were several unintended encrypted messages that got under my skin and crawled around.
The first was a disproportionate preoccupation with Saturdays and Sundays. Each of us limping across the finish line of 5pm on Friday night. We all live for the weekends, basically “getting through” the other five-sevenths of our week. Surviving 120 hours, so we could live for 48. Closing our eyes and holding our breath, praying for the work week to end, so we could exhale. Effectively watching the clock, waiting for the bell to ring for 72% of our existence so we could afford to know joy and freedom. This is the price we pay to live up to our responsibilities… A great weekend at the cost of a great week. A moment’s reward at the expense of a rewarding life.
I’d read those words and imagine the sender vacationing on Cape Cod after helicoptering in from a white party in the Hamptons, while I was trying to find chicken breast for $1.89/lb so I could afford to pay my Comcast bill before they cut off the cable. While they were planning barbecues and beach outings, I was spending my weekends paying dues, working on my craft, trying to figure out how to never have to live for the weekend again.
Additionally, I wasn’t trying to get anything “over with”. I was doing my best not to take my life for granted. I was blessed enough to come home to play with my daughters on a Monday… To eat takeout with my muse on Tuesday… To talk about life with my mother on a Wednesday… To knock a new Action Bronson song on Thursday… To train chest with my friends on a Friday afternoon. But never a wish of a Trill Tuesday or a Wicked Wednesday, would come my way. The constant obsession with the weekend was enough to give a man a case of the Mondays.
A goal-oriented life is one that is forever forward-looking. Sacrificing today for a tomorrow that is not guaranteed to come… Marching toward a horizon we may never reach. That’s always been part of the deal, we all know what we signed up for. But in a 168 hour life, we need to find time for ourselves Monday through Friday—for our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations, and not simply those of our employers. The trick is to make the most of the weekdays for as long as we must, to the point that every day could be something you’d eagerly anticipate… Turning your life into a permanent Saturday.
I always despised the phrase “Weekend Warrior” for the casual, amateur connotation it implied… You were to be a worker bee five days a week and only a warrior on the weekend, with the requisite bike helmet and generic Nike “Dad shoes” from Dick’s. No thanks, pal. I’m over here trying to be somebody when I grow up. But don’t let my issues keep you from having a great weekend.