It's Saturday morning here in Bettendorf. I trust that for those of you who have the weekend off are doing something fun and are are able to get together with family and friends. (For those of you working, especially our service members on duty far from home, my thanks and I hope you get some time off soon.)
Ah, the weekend. There is a universal sigh of relief when Friday arrives and Saturday morning, especially in the summer, is usually a time to linger longer around the kitchen table, have another cup of coffee, putz around online (perhaps read my blog for instance :)) and reflect that the work week is a few days away.
I was in college in the 80s and there were a myriad of bands that made a slash on MTV/college radio and then faded away, much like the flashing of a lightning bug. One of these bands is Guadalcanal Diary. The one CD they put out that got some traction was "Flip Flop." Probably the one song that got the most play was Always Saturday. Thanks to YouTube, here's the link to the wonderfully cheesy video:
(The song is not on iTunes, but hopefully soon, this is one worth having in your collection.)
One of the lines from the chorus is, "I wanna live where it's always Saturday." Not surprising it is featured prominently in the song as it is the title. It is a pretty simple premise- I want everyday to be a day of fun. It is hard to argue with that concept. This gains even more significance when we move into college football season. (Go Hawks!). Alas, I digress, back on topic.
However, that is not the case. In 36 hours, most of us will be acutely aware the a new work-week looms on the other side of the next sunrise. For most of us, that rarely triggers a release of endorphins. In previous jobs, Monday brought a sense of dread for the piles of work that awaited. Thus the reason that Saturdays are important.
I would be remiss not to acknowledge that today for some is not a day of casual leisure, but religions observance. If you are an observant Jew or a Seventh Day Adventist, today is your sabbath. Faith is an important thing for many and the concept of a day of rest (whenever observed) is a good thing. One could argue in our over-connected technological world, "un-plugging" for a day may not be such a bad thing. Laura Vanderkam wrote in her book, What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend, about one extraordinarily successful woman executive accountant who is also an observant Jew. This person commented that while it was difficult to tell her boss she would not work on Shabbos, even during tax-season, it became easier for her. When she moved into management, she made sure everyone on her team got one day off. It really is a great concept. We do need downtime. (I have written about Laura's work before and here is a link to her webpage: http://lauravanderkam.com/books/successful-people-do/)
But riddle me this Batman: What if there was a way that we could harness the great feeling of Saturdays and carry that with us through Monday morning? It is something I have been thinking about lately. I personally do not believe we want nothing but leisure. That would lead to boredom and perhaps eventually sustained debauchery. We are wired to work, to create, to produce. Heraclitus wrote something that summarizes this concept for me:
"Always having what we want may not be the best good fortune. Health seems sweetest after sickness, food in hunger, goodness in the wake of evil and at the end of longday labor sleep."
(From Fragments, Brooks Haxton, translator, Penguin Books, 2001).
So our weekend, is that modern version of sleep after the week of "longday labor." I choose to believe there is a way to capture and keep the fun of the weekend into the following work week. One part of that is goal-setting, something I plan on writing on in future blogs. However, for now, it's off to breakfast. After all, it is Saturday.
Have a SUPER weekend!