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Unending extracurricular activities on the weekend is a perilous exercise in competitive millennial peacocking.
If you’re not sure what I mean in regard to the above sentence, that’s fine. I’m not really sure what I mean either. I’m a consultant and I have been trained to write sentences of particularly bifurcated meaning. Flowery ambiguity is a valuable skill in my business.
My point, however, is that the expectation to “take advantage” of weekend free time is exceedingly prevalent in society today. Now that I think about it, maybe this is particular to my age group? Or to America? I don’t like the idea of speaking for all of ~society~, but you get the idea.
Either way, you can probably relate to (or at least tangentially understand) the heaping dollop of guilt I felt as I walked into work this Monday, having done nothing the entire weekend other than shack up with my significant other.
I felt like a lazy, good for nothing, weekend-wasting baked potato – topped with extra slacker sour cream and chives for good measure. I so despised myself for having lazied away my Saturday and Sunday that I skipped my usual breakfast, two sausage links and one hard boiled egg. Weekend wasters don’t deserve breakfast.
When I arrived at my desk on Monday, I was hungry and grumpy — an especially endearing combo. Then, I received this text:
“Babe, this weekend was incredible.”
My first reaction was “WE WASTED IT!” but then… guess what. I smiled.
This sad sack of a good for nothing couch potato smiled! I giggled and kind of swooned and my heart beat a little bit in my belly, the way it does when romance feels, I don’t know, tangible. And I realized that, in that moment, this weekend was indeed incredible. It was intoxicating and romantic and utterly glutenous and it warmed me up in such a way that the cracks in my tired, overworked being started to melt back together.
So, as quickly as the guilt came, it went away. I relinquished any and all disgust around “wasting” my weekend because, in the end, if you shack up with someone that makes you want to shack up — can that even be considered a waste?
I think the answer is no.
What I realized, as I looked at that text, was that laying around with someone you love is the best kind of medicine. It’s like a sigh of relief – a pancakes for dinner, tangled sheets, “I didn’t know you played the guitar!” sigh of relief. The kind of relief that weekends should be expressly designed for.
Shacking up is permission to ignore the farmers market and 10-mile hike and to wear nothing but a cotton t-shirt for two days straight. Coming out of a weekend of nothing but each other’s ridiculous bedhead is like a deep tissue massage of the heart. It is a 100% battery recharge that might not be attainable beyond your front door.
I think we forget that sometimes.
I think we forget that time is our own, and we’re allowed to waste it whenever and however we please. We’re allowed to spend as much time wrapped up in someone’s arms doing nothing as we want and it shouldn’t feel like a failure. In fact, it should feel like a success. Letting down your guard and reveling in another person is a luxury rarely afforded to a generation of the constantly connected. How frequently are we truly, deeply alone with another person?
So, if you’ve got someone — whether it’s that person you just met or the one you’ve been married to for years — fight off of the incessant pressure to do more. I can’t tell you the last time I did that. The last time I remember that wasting time together might not be a waste of time at all.
Maybe hiding away for the weekend is a chance to hit pause on the world, to allow ourselves to rest in the comfort of not a single obligation other than to just be together — all shacked up with nowhere to go. .