The Wasted Weekend

Every Friday I drive home, exhausted, with a mental list of the amazing things that I will do with those two precious days. Saturday and Sunday are going to be phenomenal, packed full of catch-up around the house, resolution of open work assignments and quality time with the kids and husband. In my mind, I am super woman.

In reality, this weekend started with me asleep on the couch by 9:00pm and spiraled downhill from there.

That’s not fair, I guess. I did manage to go grocery shopping, make a tasty and healthy fruit salad bigger than my head and cook a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. I dealt with the cell phone upgrade that I told my kids I would do two weekends ago. I took my son to lunch and a matinee showing of a play his best friend was in. I read the introduction to a new book and now I am writing a blog post.

And yet somehow that doesn’t feel like enough to call this a productive weekend. Not because it wasn’t enough objectively, but because compared to what my Friday self thought I would accomplish, it is way off the mark. I didn’t fail me, I failed my ridiculous expectations, and that’s somehow worse.

I think what I need to do, what we all need to do, is to be more measured in weekend expectations. I need to be okay being my weekend self and not my weekday self. I need to realize that only a handful of things will get done and not pretend for one minute that it will be totally productive. I need to assume that I will lose 30 minutes lounging in the shower. Take another hour for a lazy breakfast and coffee over my tablet. Put two hours in for catching up on Netflix binges or going to a movie. Give myself permission to sleep in or take a nap or meditate to achieve balance.

One of my best moments, a moment I plan to treasure for years to come, was sitting at lunch with my son. He looked at me as we talked and he said, “Mom, I brought my DS because I thought I would be bored. But this is really engaging.” (He says stuff like that, that things are engaging.) We chatted about the insanity of segregation, the Spider Man mural he had in his bedroom back in Michigan and how he is trying to be less annoying to his sister. We had a lively conversation all through lunch; I leaned into it and just enjoyed the moment.

It wasn’t part of my productive weekend plan, but thankfully I did it anyway. Because the work will get done, it always does. But my boy is only going to be 12 for another 348 days and if I don’t take a few moments to soak it in I’ll be stuck watching him head off to college wondering when the hell he became a man.

So it’s decided. I’m giving myself permission to waste weekends — and you can join me. Waste it on yourself. Waste it on your hobbies. Waste it on your family. Waste it on tv or tablets. Waste it on nothing at all.

But if you’re with me, just don’t waste the opportunity to waste it.