Friday, March 31, 2006

If Friday Giveth.....

Ah Friday, that long-awaited day, the gateway to the weekend, bringing a reprieve from the vicissitudes of the proverbial grind (at least for those of us who work during the week). The problem with waiting for this day to arrive is that Monday is just around the corner, and the waiting then gives way to dread and wishes that time would move more slowly on Saturday and Sunday, which it never manages to do.

Another problem: if Friday giveth, then certainly Monday must by necessity taketh away. All of this antipication and waiting for two special days creates a great deal of expectation, not to mention disappointment when the weekend falls short of our desires.

How much do we miss when we spend our energy looking towards the future rather than examining and living in the present? In the past, I've written about the dread I often feel as Sunday evening approached, the need for preparation for the coming work-week looming. On Sundays, the mind begins to wander back to the responsibilities awaiting on Monday morning. The laundry spins, the iron hisses, the lunch is packed, the Palm Pilot consulted, and then, lo and behold, Monday morning dawns with a sense of loss and desire for more leisure and considerably less travail. "Welcome to my working week," Elvis sang (Costello, that is).

Work can define us, it also can confine us. Why do so many of us write about our work? Why are there websites dedicated to those who write about their work? Why do so many people desperately play the lottery in an effort to secure an early and blissful retirement, free of the need for money and sustenance which to a large degree drives our careers and work lives? If we live for the weekend, are we not dead from Monday to Friday? And if we're dead from Monday to Friday, what does that say about the quality of Saturday and Sunday? Even more poignant, what does that say about the quality of those five days of salary earning?

These are purely rhetorical questions which I ask both myself and you, dear Reader, as I prepare for the week's deneoument and the weekend's opening curtain. Will I seize the day and wring as much pleasure and relaxation from the weekend as I can? Most likely. Will I spend too much time ruminating on the week to come? Hopefully not. Will I resent the hours I spend preparing for lecture, writing an exam and studying nursing texts? Probably. Will Monday feel like something was lost, a small death has occured? Perhaps, but my hope is that even a small kernel of excitement can animate an occasional Monday morning, a desire to rise to the challenge and embrace the week with open arms and heart.

A famous philosopher/yogi once said, "Work is love made visible." May my love continue to be visible, even on Monday.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keith, I love your posts. Did you know that your writing has a rhythm to it?

Regarding this post, usually people who dread Monday morning so much hate their job. Do you hate your job? That hasn't been my impression but I don't understand why else you would dread Monday so much. Just curious.

Keith "Nurse Keith" Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC said...

Good point. No, I don't hate my job, but you might call it a love-hate relationship at times. It's not black and white by any means.

I guess I dread Monday mornings because I'm a homebody, I love having time with my wife and dogs, I love listening to music and reading, blogging, and moving at my own pace. Perhaps you might say that I'm a perfect candidate for a home business or entrepreneurship. That may be in my future, but for now I feel that my best work in the world is being of service in the wider community.

In my experience, even people who love their work can dread the week's beginning. Sometimes we love our work but dislike the workplace. Sometimes we don't like our boss but feel committed to what we actually do. It's a mixed bag, and the dread---no matter what the reason---can be mentally draining.

As for the rhythm of my writing, I take that as a compliment, but must admit it is wholly unconscious.

Kim said...

Oh, I can SO relate. It's Friday night and I am thinking about Sunday's night shift.

I have a wonderful job. I live for the times when I have 2-3 days off in a row and yet can't imagine retiring.

I don't want to go and yet I'm fine when I get there.

I feel achy before I get there and then don't feel the ache until I get home (or eight hours into a twelve-hour shift!).

It really is a love-hate relationship.

Keith "Nurse Keith" Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC said...

Amen.