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Where Has The Weekend Gone?

Posted on Monday 20th November 2006 at 00:00
I sit down at the computer with a chilled glass of Smirnoff Ice in my hand, poured from a bottle I've had sat in the fridge for at least a week. The room is warm and brightly lit, for once, and yet more heat is wafting in through the open door from the kitchen, where my dinner - an unusually large chicken breast, wrapped in bacon and filled with cheese, served with a generous helping of Roast potatoes and a few vegetables - is slowly cooking away and filling the house with the mouth watering aroma of a well deserved meal. My hair is still slightly wet from the hour or more spent relaxing with a book in the bath and for the first time this weekend, I feel refreshed, cheerful and thoroughly relaxed ahead of the start of another busy week.

For reasons unknown to me, this weekend, and perhaps the previous one to an extent have left me feeling unsatisfied. Far from the feelings of contentment and pleasure one should expect from a day off, I've found myself weary, stressed and a little bit unhappy, if truth be told. I've decided to attribute this to the lack of days off I'm now experiencing as a result of taking on the extra hours of employment that I did. I know I wrote less than a week ago that you needed to work a full week in order to appreciate the weekend - and I stand by that still - but my poor sleep patterns, coupled with a long list of things to do, both personal and academic, seem to have left me unable to relax at the weekends, nor motivate myself to use my free time more constructively. Even as we speak, I am conscious of the nagging reminders in the back of my mind to complete dozens of pieces of coursework and seminar preparations, as well as God only knows how many additional tasks I've taken on.

Yesterday morning I was woken by a text from an old school friend of mine who needed some help in a field in which I have some limited expertise: web design. Apparently she'd been set a task for her uni course which included having to have a website, something which she simply didn't have the knowledge to create for herself in the designated time span. Naturally I was only too happy to help, and so went onto the internet to discuss the project over MSN. Although the job wasn't looking to be difficult and relied largely on an amalgamation of scripts I had already written, it was clear straight away that the task was going to need a good few hours devoted to it. Right now it is approaching midnight and I am looking at having to do at least a couple more hours work on it tonight because I won't have time to look at it again before Tuesday night at the earliest.

The feeling of weekend jubilation doesn't last long. By the time I've eaten the meal and added a large glass of red wine to the Smirnoff already in my blood stream, it's 11pm and I've about ready for bed. Sadly I can't get into bed until I remake it using the sheets, duvet covers etc that I took off earlier in the day for washing. This I won't allow myself to do until I've completed all my other tasks for the day, including a large pile of washing up from my very tasty dinner, taking out the rubbish for collection tomorrow and yes, the two hours of website work, not to mention updating my sadly neglected blog.

I am woken this morning by a knock on my door from J, whom I've asked to wake me in time for us to take a walk before lunch. Sadly, it seems one of the areas in which our lifestyles differ is our morning routine, and so I have to accept that "I'll be ready to go in 5 minutes" means I shall have to forgo my morning shower, breakfast and shave and am instead left with time enough to get dressed and get a drink down me before we leave. Sod it, sometimes it is nice to pass on the age old morning routine, and when better than on a Sunday?

The object of the walk is J's new place of work, which needs to be located, scouted out and have the journey timed for future reference. This we do inside 40 minutes, affording a detour to Morrison's on the return trip in order to buy essential supplies to prevent starvation. I settle for four bed rolls and a box of small apple pies. In spite of the 5 or so miles walked I feel neither tired and worn out nor flushed and full of post exercise energy upon my return.

I've often suspected that a lot of my problems might stem from the fact that I am neither happy nor sad most of the time. I think that occasionally visiting those two extremes, even if that means being sad more often, would be a step up from the monotony of being stuck in between, with seemingly no ability to improve upon the situation. The full day of back breaking work tomorrow, followed by an evening spent frantically trying to do at least some of the work necessary to get me through the following day probably won't improve upon matters.

It seems I am still searching for an answer to the problem of how to spend my weekend, relaxing or being productive. Sadly now I've slipped into a state where being productive entails just keeping up with the basic chores that are somehow supposed to just slot into your life regardless of what else you've got going on, with no time left for pursuing more favourable occupations.

Will I ever get this right?

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