Sweet Saturday!

Man Drinking Coffee 01

If anyone has ever played the Parker Brother game, Payday, you’ll recall that the playing board is a month-long calendar and each week is ended by a square that says, “Sweet Sunday”.  When you land on this square, nothing happens.  It’s just a free square.  We’re supposed to be happy and to reflect on the blessing that we didn’t land on a square that required us to pay money to someone.

I never cared much for those squares.  In my child-like worldview at that time, I would rather something unpleasant happen to me than for nothing at all to happen.  To me, landing on a Sunday square was a wasted turn.  Sure, I didn’t have to spend $40 for a prom dress, but neither did I get to buy or sell a load of old copper pipes or antique bottles or participate in a lottery for people down on their luck.

But that was a game.

In real life, I look forward to Sunday with great, keening anticipation.  Except in my case, it is Saturday I look forward to.  Though usually riddled with chores and errands, Saturday is my day to relax and unwind from a hectic, stressful week.  It is the day I want to sleep in, wake up late, and then lounge around in my pajamas and drink coffee and play on my laptop until I darn well feel like grabbing a shave and a shower and getting busy.

But, just like the game “Payday”, life can be somewhat unpredictable.  Before we know it, it is time to roll the dice again and cringe as we move along, hoping that we won’t be set upon by an unscrupulous auto mechanic or a shyster fence salesman.

So, even though I look forward all week long to getting to sit here on Saturday morning in my pajamas doing exactly what I’m doing right now, before too long the feelings of guilt set in.  “I should be up doing something,” I begin to think.

Within half an hour I am thinking things like, “It is shameful that a grown-ass man like myself is sitting here in his pajamas at 9:30 in the morning playing on a computer.

If I wait much beyond even that point, my thoughts become more pointed.  “What a complete and utter waste of space and carbon I am!  Why didn’t I get up at 7 AM and get out and mow the yard or clean out the rain gutters?!  I am a disgrace to my species!  My seventh grade algebra teacher was right:  I will never amount to anything!”  I follow this by rending my clothing and falling to my knees, sobbing in the rain (which is mysteriously falling in my living room).

Why can’t we just enjoy a bit of down time?  Why do we feel guilty just sitting and doing nothing?

I blame the game “Payday”.  It set up this unrealistic expectation of stress-free and pleasant weekends in my mind when I was a child.

Curse you, Parker Brothers!

23 comments

  1. I read a book last year about rest. Real rest, like making time to do nothing without guilt. It was actually a pretty good book. But one of the things that stuck with me was that the author decided one day to follow what his cat was doing—he got on the floor in his living room and lay down in the sunbeam . . . and promptly fell asleep. He said it was the best nap of his life, and it taught him the lesson that not only is rest needed, but that he worked much more efficiently when he wasn’t pushing all the time.

    Let yourself take that rest time, no matter how hard it is raining in your living room! Our society has somehow made an idol out of busyness and it is wrong, wrong, wrong. You should not feel guilt when you choose how you want to spend your free time. If you relax by sitting still and staring at your toes, do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the wise words! I do try to relax, but as you said, we are encouraged so much to NOT relax that we can’t enjoy it even when we try. I do like the idea of that nap in the sunshine, though. I may try that tomorrow (or the next time I see the sun).

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re probably more likely to see the sun sooner than I will, so go for it!

        The not-relaxing thing: a few years ago, I’d posted on Facebook about having a much-needed thirteen hours of sleep, waking on a particular Saturday at noon. (I’d had an exhausting couple days prior to it, so I felt no guilt, and my husband had pretty much insisted I not set an alarm.) No sooner did I post than an acquaintance chastised me for sleeping so long, saying he’d been awake since 5:30 that morning (and pretty much every morning) because he got so much more done, and he couldn’t imagine allowing himself to “sleep the day away.” It was such a weird, passive-agressive way to call me lazy in a public forum. I didn’t bother to answer him, because I wasn’t going to justify why I’d needed that much catching up, but it did get me thinking about how people glorify their busyness and use it to feel superior. We should never feel guilty about resting, or taking a vacation, or just sitting still. Rest is completely different from laziness.

        lol and now I’ve hijacked your comment section with a rant. Oops!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hijack away! I love the conversation!

          I have always believed that our bodies will let us know exactly how much sleep we need. Sometimes I only need 5 or 6 hours sleep. Sometimes, (like when fighting off an illness) I can go for 12 or more hours of sleep. Once I was got the flu and slept for over 24 hours! The main thing is for us to just listen to our bodies. It will usually let us know what it needs.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t really have a traditional work week these days. Saturday for me is just more of the same. Every day is a writing day, cleaning day, etc… Even Sunday. If my wife didn’t have a regular schedule, I am sure I’d lose track of which day it was. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow … noon! You are my new hero.

      Way back in the Pleistocene era when I was in college, during the summers when I had weeks and weeks of no responsibilities, I very quickly fell into the rhythm of going to bed at around 6 AM and waking up at around Noon. It was bliss! I was in my own rhythm and was always energetic. And I needed less sleep that way, too. But, alas, when I joined the world of grownups, they all frowned on my sleep patterns.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find it interesting that many have difficulty resting. Even more fascinating is taking a day off becomes work to the senses. So why not schedule it [resting that is], in just like you do when you are working, even if it takes pretending to punch a clock. In this case however, you punch out for lunch, and regular breaks. So maybe you don’t take the whole day off; that is unless you want to also pretend to take a “long lunch,” or give yourself a holiday weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jen! Thank you! Those are very good techniques to “trick ourselves into relaxing”. It’s funny you mention that. Sometimes on the weekend when I start feeling guilty about relaxing, I will close my eyes and remember what it was like during the past week being so stressed out at work. That fills me with a sense of relief that I’m not there! Lol! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And yes, it is very difficult to relax. We almost have to force ourselves to relax … and even then we feel guilty about it. And yet, I’ve known people who seem to have no problems relaxing their entire lives, never do anything strenuous, and never get stressed out about anything. I used to look down on those people … now I envy them. Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved that post! That is one game we never played. We loved a game called Careers where one chooses a vocation and the requisite number of years in college needed to obtain your chosen career path. That game became a victim of the changing times, of course, where a trade is not looked down on compared to, say, a doctor or lawyer, which was the supposed pinnacle of career achievement. Monopoly was more our game. Now that IS realisric. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Wilt! I’ve never heard of Careers, but it sounds kind of like the Game of Life. Except one doesn’t choose one’s career. One stumbles into a career based on the randomness of the spinner. Everyone hopes to be a doctor, but most people end making barely enough to squeek by. There is an interesting feature in Life, though. There is square somewhere on the board that if you land on it, you can swap salaries with someone. I’m not sure if that would be awesome or horrifying in real life! Lol!

      And I agree about Monopoly. I LOVE Monopoly! However, no one ever plays with me any more because I have the rules memorized and I have read books on strategy. Consequently, I haven’t played Monopoly in years.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nick! I hope you enjoy your weekend, too. And I do love Payday candy bars! In fact, there’s one in the pantry downstairs. Maybe I should walk down there and get it. Not only is it a peanutty, nougatty treat, but it is a good workout for your jaws.

      Liked by 1 person

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