Weekend Deconstruction

Mel Brooks at the White House for the 2009 Ken...

Mel Brooks

“Humor is just another defense against the universe.” -Mel Brooks

I’m grateful for this long weekend. Mr. University Prez decided that we deserve the Wednesday off before thanksgiving, so it’s been particularly lovely this year. Yet I also loathe weekends because of those dreaded domestic “things” on the teux-deux list that I can so-easily ignore during the week by justification of academic workload. By the end of the week, I always hear my mother’s voice in my head yelling at me for not vacuuming the dog hair off my couch.

I always start off each weekend looking forward to meeting an array of domestic goals (in addition to the academic ones) – except my body and mind tend to want to be some combination of social and lazy every time Friday afternoon rolls around. Social usually wins because I can unwind with friends who’ve had the same insane week. By the time Monday appears (or even Sunday night), I usually have an anxiety attack as I attempt to accomplish something on the list. Academic goals always take precedence over domestic goals, and so virtually nothing gets done. It’s a horrible cycle.

Sometimes I think it would be lovely to have a  9-5 which doesn’t involve taking work home – though that thought is always fleeting. I LOVE what I do.  My entire family has jobs like that, and so they simply can’t fathom the amount I have to do. I constantly get the “get a real job” lecture, which is always makes me a bit sad. Of course I’m preaching to the choir here.  Anyway…

Catching up on sleep is a weekend priority. After that it’s making sure I have ample dog-cuddling time.  I’m always much more lenient with the dogs on weekends, which means they end up sleeping between us or as close as possible to our heads. I like to think they cherish weekends as much as I do, because they get so much more attention from me (and of course it’s reciprocal). That’s unrealistic, I know – but it’s a nice thought.

I have a professor who says that every time she does “something,” she gives it all of her attention… I’ve been trying to follow her lead on that. If I’m working, I only work. If I’m watching a movie, I stop texting and checking email, etc.  I have this problem of turning self-improvement into another high-stress job. It ends up being destructive and anxiety-inducing, which is never the aim.

Why am I writing all of this right now? It’s 1pm on Saturday and my teux-deux list is taller than my house. I need to do some serious cleaning, put up christmas decorations, grade about 500 papers, finish reading 3 books, write 4 short papers, work on the thesis, make groceries, play with the dogs, and spend time with my partner. This is my attempt at self-accountability. There are only three weeks left to the semester, so I’m sprinting through the home-stretch. First up is vacuuming the dog hair off the couch… 

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