a peek inside the fishbowl

02 Apr, 2023

Is there such a thing as a “framework” for a perfect weekend?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

How was your weekend?

This question is a traditional part of Monday mornings at the office, or on the weekly Zoom call. And honestly, I’ve felt a bit weird asking it lately. What used to be a fairly innocent question became more complicated after the pandemic. Or is it just me?

How was your weekend?

I don’t mind when someone asks me about my week. And if I don’t want to answer I know I can alway stick to the pat response: pretty good how about you? But sometimes – and this is the point of this post – my mind actually goes blank because I can’t recall doing anything worth mentioning. The blur of Netflix and household chores is not exactly worth talking about.

This, my friends, is no way to weekend, so I’m embarking on a quest to make the most of them! As such, I’ve been pondering a possible “framework.” Or perhaps it’s an equation? While I’m not exactly sure, here’s what I do know:

– I know I like to feel productive, so a good weekend includes a feeling of accomplishment. And by “accomplishment” I don’t mean running a marathon or writing a book. I’m talking about repotting plants or installing a shelf in my closet to take control of my falling tower of sweaters. That being said, there is a distinction between these kinds of tasks and other household tasks that tend to be mundane and draining, e.g. doing the dishes. I have never done the dishes and said to myself: HUZZAH! I feel so productive and accomplished! Same goes for grocery shopping.

– I know I like doing something good for my body and mind. Walks in the woods, bike rides, are the kinds of things that fall into this category.

– I know I like to relax, read, recharge my batteries.

– I know I like to do something I don’t normally do (i.e. have new experiences).

– I know I like to connect with others (but as an introvert this has to be done in a balanced kind of way).

I also know that weekends are too short! I only have two precious days in which to run errands/tick a few things off my to-do list, AND do all of these other fun things. (This is turning into a very good argument for three-day weekends eh?)

Related: no matter how much I tell myself that all I want to do is lie in bed and read, I know this does not actually make for a good weekend. It SOUNDS blissful, but I know myself, and I need to balance indulgence with productivity, otherwise I feel like a slug. (ie. not a good feeling.)

So what’s a gal to do?

Well, for the past few weekends I’ve been experimenting and have learned a few things…  namely that it pays to be mindful of not just planning activities and social time, but the timing of said activities.

If I do something on a Friday after work it makes my weekends SEEM longer, even though they technically aren’t.
Doing something on a Friday means that I’m not just going home and dropping on the couch. This past Friday I went out for drinks with colleagues right after work. LAST Friday, Mark and I went to a concert downtown (a string quartet performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by candlelight). I think the Friday before that we went to see a movie. Regardless of what we do, doing something on the Friday makes my weekends seem that much fuller. And more fun.

If I bookend my weekend with something fun at the beginning and something indulgent at the end, it feels like a good weekend was had, no matter what was in the middle.
I am still working on this hypothesis but I like where it’s going. Last Sunday we ate pastries in bed, in the middle of the day! (!!) We also napped and read. Drank coffee. We neverrrrr do this! It felt ridiculous and also positively blissful, and contributed to my definition of a “great” weekend. This, despite the fact that we had spent most of Saturday organizing, sorting, and cleaning up someone’s basement. (Long story, plus not exactly relevant but let’s just agree that was a very tiring and dusty day.)

So does this mean that all the errands have to be done on Saturdays? Perhaps it’s something I will keep in mind moving forward. This article reminded me of what Sundays were like when I was young. By law, shops had to be closed on Sundays so there was nothing to do but stay home or go to church (but we were not churchgoing folk). Because nothing was open we had to find other things to do. We went through this just recently, with the COVID-related lockdowns right? When shops and restaurants were closed, we got out the puzzles and the cookie sheets and pulled those creative projects out from the backs of our closets, dusted off the tennis rackets and went on walks in the park etc. That’s what Sundays were like when I was a kid … every week!

Anyway, I digress. Life is short and we only have so many weekends allotted to us. It seems so simple. We should be (a) asking ourselves what things can we do to make us happy and (b) finding ways to squeeze more of those things into our lives. It SEEMS simple but for some reason many of us just let the time flow right past us.

The ending of the weekend on a fun or indulgent note is still something I am thinking about. Does it make for a better weekend if I end on a FUN note, or an indulgent one? They are not the same thing, obviously, and it’s nice to be able to incorporate both aspects into a weekend if possible. This requires experimenting! I shall have to do more of both, obviously. ;)

I am writing this on a Sunday afternoon. There are no pastries coming my way today but I do have a bath bomb from Lush that I’ve been saving. Maybe it’s time to use it after I finish potting my plants?


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