A Brief Contemplation on the 5-Day Workweek

It’s Sunday evening at about 6:20 PM. How did this happen? Let me back up a couple of days. Let’s see . . .

Every week I work till Friday at 4 PM.

By 4:22 PM on Friday, I’ve managed to stop thinking about work (it’s not my life), but my muscles are still tense and I’m very high strung.

By Friday at 10 PM, I’m in bed and starting to relax a little.

By Saturday at 8 AM, I’m usually up with coffee and a book. I realize I need to make the most of my short weekend. I cram in some exercise if I can.

By Saturday at 2 PM, I’ve taken a nap and done some housekeeping.

By Saturday at 10 PM, I’m in bed again and grateful that I have another day off, because I’m not relaxed yet after 5 straight days of work.

By Sunday at 10 AM, I’m feeling pretty good. I get some exercise and have a good lunch.

By Sunday at 3 PM, I’m starting to realize I’ve just let my guard down completely in the last couple of hours, but that pretty sooon I need to start tensing up again in preparation for The World tomorrow.

By now, Sunday at 6:20 PM, I’m usually starting to grieve my “lost” weekend and muse (unconsciously) on how many hours of freedom I have left before I have to go to bed, then wake up and do the whole week over again.

By Sunday at 8:45 PM, I find an outfit to wear to the office the next day, then pack my gym bag for my workout after work tomorrow. Then I pack some lunch and get my lunchbag, planner, coffee thermos, etc. set out for the next day; I won’t have the presence of mind to deal with any of these things tomorrow morning.

On Sunday at 9:20 PM, I wash my face, brush my teeth, drink some water, squeeze in some more reading, and generally sink into depression since I have to go to work the next morning. And my weekend is over. Bam, slam, that’s it!

Sad, huh.

I don’t mind my job and I like the people I work with. But I just don’t think working for 5 days and relaxing for 2 days is a very good way for me to live life. I even have co-workers who can’t find the time to take their vacation hours because they feel they are too busy at work. They would like to take time off, but they spend their entire vacation knowing they’ll go back to a disaster at work, so why should they leave in the first place?

Why are we so proud of the “Protestant Work Ethic” in the United States? I’m rather ashamed of it, and of my own participation in it. I play along because I need money and health insurance. I can only take care of myself (and hubby and cats) and hope that I can afford to retire someday and have some years to enjoy myself NOT WORKING until I die.

Sigh! (See how these Sunday night contemplations go?)

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