Even with overcast skies, Friday was welcomed with a sigh of relief by workers and students anxious to get on with the weekend! Those two precious days of “freedom” from routine are the beacon that gets us over the Wednesday hump and through the week. Right? Not always. Ask any mom with washing, ironing, car-pooling to sports games, shopping, cooking, etc. just how much rest the weekend brings. Ask the dad who has a lawn to mow, a car waiting for a bath, and a swing set to put up. Like frenzied hamsters, kids and teens keep the wheel rolling 24/7.
Do you remember lazy Sundays? They were “dress-up days” but it felt good. There was time for church, a liesurely (and big) breafast and a slow stroll through the big fat Sunday paper. It isn’t that we all adhered to the admonition to “Do no work on the Lord’s Day,” but it was somehow different. The Sunday supper still got cooked and there activities or visitors, but the pace seemed much slower and more relaxed. We really enjoyed that preparation and celebration of family time. Over the years the spring has been wound tighter and tighter and we rush through the motions while checking things off the mental lists that clog our subconcious, trying to cram everything we need into our days of rest. Who needs it?
Now, I’m not advocating we go back to whittling on the back porch, but what happened to doing…nothing. How many of us could just sit in a comfy chair or lie in a hammock to just do… nothing. Isn’t it ironic that after our major power outages we tell stories of playing monopoly by candlelight or learning a new game of cards? Forced to unplug from technology we are, at first, pacing like caged animals. After a while though, we make the best of the hardship and find that we can be quite creative, and when was the last time the whole family was together for dinner anyway? Well, ideally they wouldn’t be gathered around a jar of peanut butter and crackers by flashlight, but isn’t it good to be together?
I think “family day” is a much harder concept to grasp in this century because families are so spread out. We always had second and third generations close by (if not living with us) and cousins and extended families were part of our regular lives. Now, grandparents travel across the country for a few days of bouncing the grandchildren and parents have come to grips with the idea that their kids are probably not coming back after college…not if they want that dream job. Now don’t get me wrong. I think it would be great to have close relatives living in exotic places so I could visit and vacation at the same time, but I can’t get any farther than my brother’s family in Depew. *sigh* On the plus side, our whole family is within an hour’s distance from each other when trouble comes, but it still takes major holidays or weddings and funerals to get us together. That’s the way it is for everyone these days. Why? Because, everyone is busy! Life is busy. We are bombarded around the clock by messages, subliminal and blatant, to “be all we can be” and to DO, GO, EXPERIENCE, TRY, ACQUIRE, BUILD, etc., etc., etc.
Stop the world; I want to get off!! Even without a 9 to 5 job, there are always deadlines tugging at my subconcious. Mind you, most are self-imposed deadlines because I have been blessed with things to do and places to go to help out once in a while. I used to be able to juggle a whole bunch of projects at one time but the blackberry in my brain is refusing to keep them unscrambled these days. One of these days I’ll show up with a red hatter’s outfit for a funeral or the clown dress and pink wig for a doctor’s appointment, but at least I’ll be there! Maybe I should just pile all my various hats on my head at one time, like the old children’s book “Caps For Sale.” My friends know all the rest of “Julie’s traveling road show” is piled in my old station wagon! Tomorrow I’ll be at WalMart in pink hair, talking Relay For Life when not blowing up balloons to twist into animals. What’s on your agenda?
I hope you’re able to find time to both enjoy family, friends or people in general. I hope you’re also able to find…no, MAKE…some time for yourself. Fill the tub with bubbles, light a candle to feel really special, and just watch the shadows dance on the wall. I’m willing to bet it’s harder for you to “be still” than to be busy. A part of us wants to turn on the TV, the radio, or something that makes noise. Part will go over those nagging lists in our heads, convinced there is SomethingWeMustBeDoingRightNowSoWhatAreWeWaitingFor??? Tick. Tick. Tick.
Don’t wait for a power outage to unplug and slow down (do it when the temperature is not below freezing and the snow is blowing under the door). This is the weekend you’ve waited all week for! Waste it if you want! Enjoy the decadent pleasure of doing…NOTHING! It’s harder than you might think, but give it a try. Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the summer fun season but all that fun can wear you down! Savor those Sundays while you can!