One of the four or five good things about having a full-time job is the demarcation of time. You know you have a long and probably boring week ahead of you but, eventually, Friday will come. You might spend the whole week planning for it, talking about it and daydreaming of it rather than actually getting any work done. The anticipation is painful, but delicious — and makes your Friday night happy hour seem all the more deserved.
What happens, then, when there is no 40-hour work week? How can you anticipate the weekend with any fervor when it looks the same as, say, Tuesday? This thought hit me on Saturday morning, as I was waking up and poked Royal in the shoulder with my usual Saturday, "Hey, what do you want to do today?" His anticipated stock answer, "I don't know. What do you want to do?" bothered me more than usual. What did I want to do?!
You would think, given that I had my choice of things to do, that I would come up with a thousand creative and fun things to keep us occupied. But exactly the opposite happened — I was completely paralyzed by the options. I had already cleaned the house, done the laundry, shopped for groceries and paid the bills for the week, so we had none of that usual last minute housekeeping to do. Nothin' but time and my imagination. Unfortunately, I have the former in droves and the latter not at all. The things I really wanted to do — go try a new restaurant, see a movie, drive to Atlanta for the weekend — involved spending more money than is feasible at this time. So that left cheap/free things, none of which come easily to mind in Birmingham.
I spent most of the morning fretting about fretting the hours away, while Royal played WoW and generally feigned sympathy at my plight. He's fine not doing anything. Not doing anything is like his favorite thing to do. But it makes me feel lazy and unproductive and then I feel even worse come Monday.
Finally, at around 1:30, I declared we were going for a walk, and not around the neighborhood either. So we drove the mile or two to the little gravel lot outside Moss Rock, and walked the winding trail into the neighborhood. It was cold out, but the sky was breathtakingly blue and the exercise was invigorating. We talked about things we wanted to learn — Royal wanted to learn Spanish and brush up on coding, I wanted to learn origami which he mocked me for — and stopped to pet a friendly dog on the trail. Afterwards, we stopped by The Purple Onion for gyros and drove home sated and spent.
I am slowly learning that it's OK to not have anything exciting on the agenda. I just need to learn to turn that phrase "we have the whole weekend in front of us" into something a little less panic inducing. I do expect this unemployed stint to be short-lived — and I should enjoy frittering away time while it lasts.