Archives for April 2016

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The Constant Struggle of Week Days vs Weekend

Another weekend is about to close. All in all, it was a quite good one. We had friends over in a bit larger group for really the first time in our new house Friday night. Six adults and six kids. Saturday was a few small house jobs followed by a family kids party (cousins). Today we went to a great Museum in Chicago, the Field Museum. All in all, a pretty good weekend, even got a few things done on Saturday courtesy of the few small jobs I did. With something on every day and most nights though, I am feeling it is over too quickly and without much time to relax. The weekly grind is about to start.

I can have weekends where I do almost nothing and just hang around the house. Particularly in the dead of Chicago winter. And in these weekends, in between time with kids (and dealing with kids), I have relax time. Plenty of it. I then get to the end of that weekend, look at the long stretch of work in front of me and wonder where the weekend went and how little relaxing I did.

I can then have weekends such as I just had where there are things going on most days and nights and some or even all of it is quite fun and enjoyable. Maybe though it didn’t qualify under my definition of relaxation.  Despite the fun, I still quite often bemoan the week and work ahead of me and wonder where the weekend went, when I can have another crack at it.

Now though it is Sunday night and I am wondering where the weekend went and how far it is till the next one. With 5 days in between of work. Let’s think a bit about what is going on….

Improve Relaxation

The pattern clearly points that I don’t really know what relaxation is and how I can do it most beneficially to my physical and mental health. After all, what is relaxation? Is it sleeping, reading, running, watching TV, meditating, hobbies, sitting on couch with red wine and staring into distance:)?

I expect people relax in different ways and maybe (or eventually) find something that works for them. Perhaps it’s a combination of different things which seems reasonable. One thing is for certain, I have not yet figured it out. I have been around over 40 years but not yet figured out relaxation. I honestly don’t know how to relax.

I know one thing though -> I only know relaxation if my brain/inner voice is quiet. Typically for me that is pretty much never. Most activities, my brain and inner voice are constantly working. No matter how relaxing or non relaxing I perceive a given activity or moment to be.  Constant processing of current external and internal influences.

Checking of phone and social media, wondering what I will do later that day or night or next week. Wishing the time/day would be over. Regretting I have used this time on this earth for something like this. Judging and criticizing myself including comparing myself with others and bringing up crazy distance memories and circumstances from the past which have nothing to do with now but we should just remember to keep myself in check! I was kidding there. I should not remember or worry about the past anymore. But that is what the inner voice, Fred does. You get the picture I think. I am not ‘quiet’.

Conclusion 1: I must learn to relax in a constructive fashion. Perhaps meditation and yoga which I have dabbled with before and liked but need to re-apply myself to.

Get in the Fracking Moment

A big part of dreading an upcoming week is simply the fears the brain conjures up about that week. The interesting thing is that I no idea how good or bad the week will be. If I will enjoy it, grow from it, learn from it, advance in my career or if I will be very stressed, dread every moment, be overly rushed, have to deal with a lot of office politics etc. Most likely and as is the way with life there will be no one simple answer.

A week will consist of many moments. Some I maybe won’t like. Some I maybe will enjoy. Fred though likes to give you the worst outlook, make it seem inevitable that it will be ‘bad’. Of course, even if some or all of the week is ‘bad’, how I react to the moments and how I perceive how reality happens will very much influence how bad (or not) I find it. That perhaps is for another post though. Let’s just stick now to the fact that the brain, inner voice, Fred, whatever you call it -> is constantly trying to look forward or backwards in timeAny time other than the present time. Often it is trying to either somehow ‘help’ you avoid future pain or remember and judge and criticize past failures. Again, I pretty much hate Fred.

No weekend is perfect. No weekdays and work is perfect. Maybe more blending of the two and not separating out weekend into ”fun” and weekday into ”just work” would help. I will not though be in that spot for some time. What I think I can do in the immediate short term:

  • Learn relaxation – meditation, yoga etc
  • Stay as present as possible

If I (or you) could relax properly and learn to stay as present as possible and deal with each present moment as it occurs, I am convinced each week would be better and happiness would be improved.