As a general rule, leaving school on a Friday afternoon is the highlight of any school week for any schoolkid. I remember with some fondness the meandering walks we had leaving school on a Friday, the ritual of attempting to throw stones at a stick in a farmer’s field, and the general freedom from it all it gave.
But then the weekend itself came, the family was home, and, however nice it was that one got to have a better meal perhaps than usual, it was a stale routine we all went through. My parents were always tired and I am sure the desire to entertain myself has come from that time when I was younger. It is still there and even stronger now perhaps.
But it always left me with a little debate in my mind. On one hand, I’ve always been a big campaigner for choice and freedom, always idealistically thought that the better places in the world were those where people had time to spend with family and had the freedoms and benefits of time to look after oneself. On the (arguably more right) hand, I never understood how much one would be happy to waste the time like I see, time on Earth is precious and should be productive. Maybe this is me as an energetic 23 year old living in a capital city doing a job that I’m doing very well at (goodness knows how!) but it is important to me.
I think there is a deeper problem to this in my attitude though. The environment I’ve worked in has always been that work and life have been with each other, side by side. I am my job, and my job is me. And that is way it should be. It shouldn’t be weird to be on my school emails at midnight, and likewise it shouldn’t be frowned upon that I would be on facebook straight after a lesson. It’s both a hindrance and a help, it means that I have no disregard at all for the thought of waking up and logging into work computers on a Saturday morning and marking some tests, and equally it means that in marking those tests I do get myself distracted by facebook, youtube, skype and all the other wonders of the 21st century world. But it all works together, and if I sat around all of these for an hour without doing anything I would feel guilty. If I did some work through this then at least I know I’m being both productive and relaxing and I can’t complain.
Maybe I’m merely a sad prodigy of the future, where metropolis’ are based upon a 24/7 world where people are under the constant pressure of society to work to their limits. Traditional values would need this to be family time, religious time, sports time and so forth, which are already becoming diluted throughout life in the world we now live in. It is interesting that I believe in the UK, our Sunday trading laws need to be relaxed (however with huge protection for the workers) to fit the society that those coming into the world of work now expect. I expect the world to be on-demand in all areas, and I find it frustrating that people can live seemingly parallel lives.
Anyway, I was talking about weekends, and my conclusion is this. For me, I’m still living the life of the university student (at least idealistically and mentally, if not in practice where I’ve become a serious professional J), where every night is a night you can go out on, do work on, run an activity on, have a movie night on etc. The days flap into each other seamlessly, and I don’t feel ready for the defined nature of days as they are at the moment – or they are here in Stockholm in particular, where it is only a friend’s friend’s culture which saddens me.
For me, my weekend involves swimming both days, it involves marking, it involves tidying and sorting things, it will involve national finals, it involves watching Spain destroy England, it involves a little more sleep than usual. But that doesn’t feel quite enough to make me better. I know what I’ll do, I plan to see some people in the future…