On Weekends

“Thank God it’s Friday” — Restaurant and phrase expressing gratitude for the end of the week

“Working for the Weekend” — An anthem to Saturday and Sunday sung by Loverboy

“Ready for the weekend” — A verbal shrug and common sentiment shared by millions

Including myself. Why are weekends held in such high praise? More importantly, how does this perception affect our understanding of the week? Hopefully, reflecting upon these questions will yield a healthy discussion on the nature of weekends as well as insight into how to positively change perceptions of the week.

An Extended Metaphor 

As of late, weekends have been the light at the end of the tunnel. Distant yet within sight. Holding promises of excitement and joy. Bright opportunities with friends and loved ones. Entirely framed by the damp and restrictive walls of the week. Stumbling through darkness with head held low a puddle comes into sight. Catching just enough light to create a reflection. Revealing a face. A fatigued face weighed down by engulfing shadows cast by Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This face and its owner trek the dark tunnel towards the light each and every week. Hoping that a brief stint outside will rejuvenate, reinvigorate and inspire change in this cycle. Yet, as Sunday bleeds into Monday, this face reenters the tunnel once again. Quickly consumed and lost within the darkness…desperately looking for itself in the light of the weekend.

This face belongs to me. Perhaps to you as well.

Guiding Light 

Running, hiking, writing, reading, exploring, volunteering, family and friends. All parts of my identity guiding me through five days of work. All parts of my identity that brighten my day and put a smile on my face. All parts of my identity primarily reserved for weekends. Weekends are amazing periods of time when we can invest in things that truly make us happy and feel alive. Time away from heavy responsibilities and pressures. Time away from school. Time away from work. Time to act on the light within ourselves while enjoying sunshine outside. It’s time well spent. And all too short.

Thus, a call for change is necessary. A change that undermines weekends as the be-all and-end all of the week-weekend cycle. This change, of course, involves math. Conducted by an expert such as myself with the utmost qualifications.

Math by a History Major

Math has never been my strong suit. Numbers are strange. Beyond analyzing charts, calculating rent payments and figuring out Venmo charges, I’ve had very little interaction with anything resembling math in the last four years. Despite this, I’m able to do some basic arithmetic that supports framing the week in a more positive light.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday = the week = five days

Saturday, Sunday = the weekend = two days

5 > 2

More days. More time. More life. Chock-full of opportunities, the week should be cherished rather than endured. This, however, is rarely the perception adopted by many in life. The length of the week often becomes its greatest hindrance rather than its best feature. Yet, as indicated by the intricate proof above (and some personal experience), I refute this claim and mathematically argue in favor of the week holding incredible potential just waiting to be unleashed. To positively perceive and make the most of the week, consider any (or all) of the following:

  1. Forty Hours. Dedicated to work, studies or skipping either of the former, forty hours a week generally contribute to professional or educational development. Almost matching the length of an entire weekend, these forty hours preciously shape who we become and how we experience life. Spending forty hours on the weekend (leaving only four hours of sleep per night) on things related to your current job or area of study? Most likely not. So why invest such a hefty amount of time during the week to such things? Use the freedom of the weekend to discover your light. From there, let it radiate your week through aligning it with the forty hours you already dedicate to self-development in its various forms.
  2. Five Sunrises. Millions despise mornings. Mornings involve cold showers after late nights, only to arrive late to an 8 A.M. class with an unknown quiz thrown in one’s face…again. Or to sit through unwanted traffic on the way to an equally unwanted job bound to produce unwanted results by day’s end. Break the cycle. Wake up early. View the sunrise. See beauty begin each of the five days of the week. Visually understand the importance of starting anew with limitless possibilities. Refresh the mind, body and soul. Watch five sunrises each week.
  3. One Life. The simple truth that binds all humans together. We all have one go at this lovely, beautiful, chaotic, mundane and paradoxical experience called life. A majority of this life will be lived during the week. Make the most of the week and one makes the most of life. That’s it. Start now, champion life during the week and live to the fullest.
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Yosemite National Park | Snow, Boots and Socks

Snow

Crunch, crunch, crunch. Treading along Valley Loop Trail, the foreign sound of snow beneath boots rang through my ears arriving at its final destination. A SoCal noggin near the brink of disbelief, grinding gears to process the c̶h̶i̶l̶l̶y̶  freezing reality of weather that actually fell below 32° Fahrenheit. Brain freeze!

But more so numbing beauty. Topping rocks, trees and everything in between, snow powdered Yosemite Valley like sugar on a cake, making the feast before my eyes white and sweet. Perhaps this unexpected appreciation for the cold stuff explains my blissful ignorance regarding my boots. Perhaps it was the cold truly getting to my head.

Boots

Boots are amazing. Boots insulate feet. Boots provide traction. Boots fall apart. But not all at once.

Returning from Mirror Lake, an odd plop accompanied a now familiar crunching of snow. Behind and rushing to catch up with the rest of my group, I paid the sound no real attention (the reality: it was cold…got to keep moving!). Thankfully, an astute companion noticed I dropped something. Except…my camera and its case snugly hung from my neck. Confused, I turned around to see my friend examining a dark object.

He tossed it my way. A connection was made. A disconnection between boot and sole left me in aid. Without traction on one foot and about two inches shorter to boot!

Socks

The fuzzier the better. A phrase aptly used when discussing puppies, dogs, blankets, kiwis (what just me?) and of course, socks. Little did I know how important the fuzzy factor would be in saving my feet from frostbite one particular morning.

Waking up at 2:30 a.m. to use the restroom is never fun. The timeless inner battle of deciding to leave the comfort of one’s bed against the off chance one falls back asleep only to hurry to the restroom upon awakening. Neither is a pleasant option. Now imagine the same situation but in a four-person tent packed with five people, boots wedged in a distant corner, pitch black darkness and a temperature of 19° Fahrenheit standing in between you and relief. Clearly, two reasonable options arise: get the boots and wake up tent mates in the process or struggle to join the other slumbering souls in an attempt to fall asleep until morning.

Fuzzy socks, however, granted me option three: walk through the freezing darkness and snow of Campsite 4 without the fear of frostbite and more importantly wrath of friends awakened. Fuzzy socks, I thank you for all our good nights’ sleep and the warmth too!