How to Waste a Day Off

Man mowing and raking 001


On a whim, I decided to take today (Friday) off from work.

Why shouldn’t I?  Monday is the Labor Day holiday and so, by simply using some comp-time hours I had coming to me, I could build myself a nice 4-day weekend out of things I just had laying around.

So I did it … I took the day off and I would have it ALLLLL to myself!    And I had all sorts of plans!  Plans for doing things that I like to do.

  • I was going to sleep in a little bit.
  • I was going to go to Einstein Bagels for breakfast and have a bagel and some coffee while reading an actual paper book.
  • I was going to go to Half Price Books and Barnes & Noble and browse around, unhurried and guilt-free.
  • I was going to go to Fry’s and look at all their fun stuff for electronics hobbyists.
  • I was going to take my laptop to Starbucks and do some serious writing.  (Well, humorous writing … but in a serious way.)
  • I was going to sit in my office and listen to music (out loud, without headphones!) while I sorted through old papers and whatnot.

It was going to be a beautiful “me” day … what I believe is referred to nowadays as a “mental health day”.

Know what I ended up doing instead?

  • I got up and made coffee and ate a defrosted frozen bagel.  True enough, it was an Einstein bagel I’d bought a week ago and it tasted fine, but I did not get the experience of sitting in the bagel shop and people watching and pretending to read a book.
  • After my bagel, I got outside so I could get the yards mowed and spruced up.  I didn’t want it hanging over me all weekend long, and I wanted to get it done before it got too hot outside.
  • I made it back inside by noon and got showered and cleaned up.
  • Make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch because … well … it’s what was here.
  • Sat down to do some writing … but a freak thunderstorm came up, so I accidentally fell asleep in my chair.  There is something bewitching about the sound of rain and thunder and a cat jumping up into your lap which will render one unconscious in a matter of minutes.  (Of course, I would not discount the effects of losing 5 pounds of water weight in a blazing sun earlier in the day.)
  • Woke up with a crick in my neck.  It was still raining, so I threw some clothes in the laundry and swept up a little bit and emptied the dishwasher.
  • I took my work slacks and some shirts to the dry cleaners.  This was the first time I’d left the house all day.


By then, it was after 5:00 and I no longer had the day to myself.

I was mentally kicking myself.  Everything I did today I could have easily done tomorrow.

One of these days I’m going to learn how to relax.

Hopefully, the day before that day, I will realize it is not a crime to do things that I enjoy doing.





  1. I took Friday off too–got to spend some time with my kid, who was here to help Ken with roofing, then I…went grocery shopping. So much for a writing day–I really need to become more disciplined:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The problem with writing days is that they can’t be scheduled. Who knows when inspiration will hit? All I know is that it rarely hits when I have a day off. It always seems to hit me when I am far away from a keyboard or stuck in some interminable soul-killing meeting.

      So, I don’t think it is a matter of discipline. I think it is a matter of all writers hitting the lottery so that they can quit their day jobs and so be ready to write when the inspiration comes!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my kids is in San Fran and my wife is out at the outlets. A set-up for a truly dull weekend. I put away a lot of laundry listening to the novel The Help and some lectures on mythologies, to maintain the old IQ levels. There is always a melancholy in the air this time of year. I think I need a life coach, or someone to shout slogans. If you know someone send him up here, Biff!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I admire that you listen to books on tape as you do household chores. I should do that, too. But I find myself either listening to nothing (and relishing the peace and quiet) or else just whatever music is on my iPod (and letting my brain idle in neutral).

      I like your idea of hiring someone to shout slogans at us at random times! I picture that it would be just like Cato Fong in the Pink Panther Movies, whom Inspector Clouseau hired to jump out at him at random times in order to train the Inspector to always be on his toes.

      So in our case, we could hire someone to jump out at us and shout writing prompts to us and force us to sit down in front of the keyboard.

      That idea may need a little work .. but it sounds completely feasible to me!


  3. At least you didn’t get kidnapped by aliens – that is what happens to me – the only explanation as to how a whole weekend can pass without doing anything on my list. They take you, there is no memory of where you have been, then they dump you back 5 hours later.

    Liked by 1 person

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