The #1 Thing You Should Do this Weekend? Absolutely Nothing

The #1 Thing You Should Do this Weekend? Absolutely Nothing

It’s all about football in my house this weekend. We are officially two tubs of salsa in, with no signs of slowing down (just like Dak and the Beast Elliot, go Dallas!!). It feels so good to be absolutely focused on a single thing, especially such an easy thing to do such as watching TV, that I am kind of in awe of how we are spending our Saturday. I am pretty sure this is how one feels when they are indulging in a guilty pleasure. Except it’s most certainly not a guilty pleasure to sit with your family on a playoff weekend, and just enjoy some football together. Still, I can’t help but every once in a while think to myself that somehow the greatest accomplishment of the day can’t be how many hot dogs my husband can consume in one hour. Like so many people, something doesn’t quite feel right if I am not actively doing something at every single possible moment of the day. Accomplishing the slightest thing, like having a clean kitchen sink, becomes like a high that needs to be maintained at all costs. As a result, weekends in my home have traditionally been filled to the brim with activities, fun or otherwise. Chores and house maintenance, studying, cooking, outings with my stepdaughter and husband practically filled the entire waking hours from Saturday morning to Sunday night. Add to that the fact that my husband only has one traditional weekend off a month, and I routinely go into work on the weekends, and it becomes fairly easy to see how unsustainable that formula becomes. We were stuck in this pattern for a very long time, and then in November of 2015, I read Laura Vanderkam’s book What the Most Successful People do Before Breakfast. It has a whole section of the book devoted to how successful people spend their weekends. It was a wake up call. I was always under the impression that successful people didn’t really take time off, and were always doing something, building multi-million dollar businesses before I had my morning cup of coffee. Spending the weekend unplugging seemed like a distant pipe dream when I was starting my first blog, and really ramping things up in my second year of graduate school. Reading the stories in Vanderkam’s book about how many successful people like the former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee and famous chef Ina Garten not only find time to work and advance their career on the weekends yet prioritize relaxation and spending time with family was inspiring. It just didn’t make sense to continue spending our weekends in a death march of chores and non-high value activities, such as scrolling through my phone for 45 minutes straight reading Yelp reviews to find just the right restaurant for date night. I had to radically change my attitude about leisure time. As a kid I constantly complained about being bored, and so I think I ended up always erring on the side of having more to do than less because sitting around, well how utterly useless is that? Well I was wrong. I have firmly embraced the notion of weekends as the necessary time to restore my body and mind from all the work and responsibilities of the week. Even when I do end up going to work on the weekend, I remind myself that I am not going to be there the entire day and that is not going to be the defining thing that happens that weekend. I have scaled back the have to do’s as much as possible by doing more of them after work, especially on the nights when my husband is working late. I have also successfully delegated more tasks to my husband to do on his days off, or before he goes to work. That way, when those magical weekends when we’re both home roll around, we rarely have anything we have to do, and instead are doing many more enjoyable activities, even simply hanging out, together. Every once in awhile when I think about just sitting around like today mostly just watching TV, I still get kind of anxious that I’m not making good use of my time, but the reality is that this kind of time, complete stress-free, chore-free, and heck responsibility-free is probably the most valuable way I could use my time this weekend.

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