It took me a while this morning to realise that today is a Friday. Now, for anyone else, this may be a common occurrence… not being able to remember the day of the week is not particularly telling of anything. Not for me. My ‘realisation’ was odd for 2 reasons:
1) In the past 4 and a half years since I’ve started working, I’ve ALWAYS known when it was a Friday.
2) Today’s realisation was not accompanied by a rush of relief.
If you’re a working adult, you know the effect Fridays can have on an exhausted body, mind and soul. After a weary week, a Friday is a gift from the high heavens. (This does occur on a smaller scale during school/university life as well, but not nearly to the same extent.) Fridays are when you still need to go to work, but you can spend the whole day looking forward to the lovely weekend. When a Friday ends, no one expects you to go home and do more work. Instead, you can go somewhere after work and spend time without looking at your watch and wondering whether you should be heading home so you can get enough sleep for the next day. Fridays are the best days of the week, basically. Even Saturdays can get gloomy towards the end but Fridays just get exponentially better as they go on. And so, naturally, they’re the day most working adults look forward to. It’s the day I certainly looked forward to for four and a half years of my life.
Which is why it’s jarring that instead of anticipating it for a whole week in advance, I just stumbled into Friday today, as if by some happy accident. My whole life used to revolve around waiting for Fridays to come around, and moaning about them not lasting long enough. Now, two Fridays into unemployment, they’ve lost all meaning for me. You know how they say you can’t appreciate the sun until you’ve experienced a long and arduous winter? Well, replace the sun with Friday and the winter with a very busy work-filled week, and you get the same idea.
I’m not complaining. I’m on what you might call an ‘extended holiday’. There are days I feel guilty about being unemployed and wasting time not earning my keep, and on those days I have to remind myself that it’s a choice I made consciously, for specific reasons. I am, of course, extremely lucky to have the financial security and support from family to be able to take a break from work at 26, but it’s the right step for me while I decide what to do next.
For the next few months, then, I guess I have to get used to ‘regular’ Fridays. No anticipating weekends like they’re life-support. No building up of stress through the week, no release at the end. Fridays are going to be just another day of the week, until eventually the days will all blur into one big, continuous timeline of unemployment. And then, at some point after that, I’ll go back to work, and Fridays will regain their meaning and importance, and I’ll anticipate them like the small miracles they are, and all will be right with the world again.
Until then, TGIF. (Thank God I’m Free.)