living for the weekend
The habit of living just for the weekend is something that I encounter on a regular basis. A belief that pleasures can only be enjoyed on Saturdays and Sundays or when we’re away on holiday.
There seems to be an expectation that Monday mornings are something to be endured and going back to work after a period of leave something to be dreaded. I think that it is sad to go through life living for only two days of the week or wishing away your life until your next vacation.
How are your weekdays? Do you feel as though you just struggle through them, wishing each day away until you get to Friday evening when you feel that you can actually enjoy yourself? When you come home at the end of the day do you feel that you need a large glass of wine to help you cope with life? Natalie Bacon calls this ‘overing’ e.g. overeating, over drinking, even over ‘working out’. Our thoughts about our day cause us to feel negative emotions. In order to deal with those emotions we indulge in one of these ‘overing’ behaviours, hoping that they will make us feel better. Unfortunately we all know the truth about that hope. By the next morning you’ll either have a headache from too much red wine or feel guilty about all the chocolate you ate and promise yourself you’ll start that diet next week.
add small pleasures to every day
Maybe I’m lucky that I enjoy my day to day life. Like everyone I have good and bad days, but on the whole I have a nice life. Yes, it involves going to work, which can sometimes be stressful, as well as doing chores on the evenings and weekends, but everyday there are things to enjoy. I believe that we can all find small pleasures to add to our every day so that we have things to look forward to on a daily basis and not just on weekends.
Try making a list of all the things that you enjoy doing. Maybe it’s listening to music or learning from a podcast. Do you want to enjoy a quiet cup of tea in bed before the kids get up? Enjoy curling up on the sofa with a good book? Now look at how you are spending your time. Are there opportunities to fit those small pleasures into your day? It’s not always about finding more time, which can be hard to do. Instead of listening to that DJ drivelling on each morning when you’re driving to work try listening to a podcast instead. The thing that I love about podcasts is that they can be very inspirational. You not only learn, but they give you the motivation to make changes in your life. And, they’re free.
I’ve recently started listening to Everyday Courage by Jillian Johnsrud. She is a mother of six children who has achieved financial independence. She realises how precious time is and so her podcast episodes are short. If you are interested you can listen to Jillian’s story on this episode of Afford Anything. Another good one is The Before Breakfast Podcast by Laura Vanderkam, the queen of time management. Laura gives you great ideas for managing your time in just five minute slots.
shift your day
Getting up earlier in the morning can be a way of finding time for yourself. Maybe you think that this isn’t possible as you already don’t get enough sleep. Have a look at what you’re doing with your time in the evening. Are you just flopping on the sofa in front of the TV because you’re too tired to do anything else? Do you fall asleep whilst watching your favourite programme? If so you might as well be in bed. Do you think that you can’t go to bed before 10pm or maybe even that seems early to you? Remember, there aren’t any rules about what time you retire every evening. You can make your own rules. Instead of spending an hour asleep on the sofa every night think about what you could do with an extra hour every morning.
Mr Simple and I always used to wake up every day at 6.30am, but in order to find time to jog in the morning I changed it to 6am. Initially Mr Simple complained, but he has now got used to it. The knock-on impact is that we tend to go to bed earlier. By the time 9.30pm comes around I’m usually thinking about going upstairs. Again, Mr Simple protested at this at first, but more often than not he now joins me in bed before 10pm.
pair chores with pleasures
Are there pleasures that you could pair with your chores to make them more bearable and maybe even create something that you look forward to? When I make dinner on a weekday evening this is usually accompanied by a comedy or drama from Radio Four Extra. Every time that I jog on my treadmill I watch videos on YouTube. When I make my fortnightly call to my mother I spend my hour and a half’s conversation doing the ironing as well.
If you just live for the weekend or your holidays, my homework for you today is to have a think about how much time you spend planning your holidays or your weekend nights out, as opposed to making your ordinary days more enjoyable. Instead of just living weekend to weekend or holiday to holiday could you put more effort in to creating that same anticipation when you wake up each morning? How could you make your days more enjoyable by adding little bits of pleasure? I’d love to know your ideas or if you’re struggling to think of how to make your days better then let me know and maybe I can give you some ideas.