Contrary to popular belief, not everything is relative. It turns out that weekends are still too short even when your workdays are shorter without the usual 45-minute commute each way. Even when you can’t do anything at all to pass the time except sit at home and stare at the computer. Even when you get a shit ton of stuff done and have hours to yet kill. Sunday night still arrives far too soon.
When your brain begins turning over tomorrow’s tasks, what needs to be done, who needs to be contacted, what meetings or deadlines are coming up, the weekend is essentially over. It could happen at bedtime, as you try to close your eyes for a few hours before the morning alarm; that’s the best care scenario. But too often it hits about midday Sunday, usually when you look up at the clock and see it’s “only 2pm” but then begin calculating just how many hours you have left before you have to sleep. That momentary thought begins consuming all the available space in your brain, and then suddenly it’s 9, 10 o’clock and your time is reduced to minutes and seconds rather than hours.
Everything looks different at 5pm Friday. The hours and days of freedom stretch out ahead. You’ve made it through another row of the grid. Then you turn around, and you’re standing at the beginning of the next row and have to begin all over again. It’s pretty much the same as being on the 11:59pm side of December 31, standing at the top of the tallest ladder on the Chutes and Ladders board, and then suddenly it’s 12:01am January 1, and you’re at the bottom of the slide.
Next week is Martin Luther King, Jr, Day on Monday and Inauguration Day on Wednesday. Our offices are closed for both. So I did what I’m sure many will do: I took Tuesday off. One vacation day gets me 5 days off to do…well, probably not a whole hell of a lot. At least, I hope it will be a quiet week at home. With what’s happening in this country right now, it’s impossible to guess what will come next. Still, it will make the next 5 days of work feel so much longer. Here, relativity is in full force. Maybe even working overtime. Nothing is longer than the last workdays before a vacation. Except maybe the last workdays before a vacation during a global pandemic and national revolt led by a narcissistic spoiled brat throwing a tantrum during a presidential transition of power.