Monday, May 07, 2012

Closed on Mondays

My hairstylist, the breakfast cafe, and our dentist are closed on Mondays. The editor's assistant I worked with on the paralegal book left early on Fridays. Which is better: to be closed on Monday or to leave early on Friday?

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing by Judson at Forkedupart. 
On the way to Verve this morning for a meeting with Patricia Rice about the Bangor SCORE chapter, I let my mind think about this and to my absolute horror, here's what immediately came to mind: I'd wash the cereal bowls that I left in the sink.

Oh that is not what I'd do with my Monday. Surely, it's not.

I might go outside and ponder the question: Why do the weeds in the yard seem to be thriving after a dose of weed killer? My poor 3-y-o watched from the front window and thought I was watering the "sunflowers." I might as well have been, given how perky they were this morning.

And then...I'd check my email, grade final portfolios, write a few internship review letters.

Oh wait. That's work, and I'm closed on Mondays.

I'd paint the trim on my son's door to cover up the pencil marks he made there several years ago.

I'd make dinners for the entire week and get ahead of the game.

Okay, so my Monday off would be spent doing things to make the rest of the week easier. I asked my husband and he said, he'd mow the lawn. Use the week wacker. Clean the garage. Fix stuff. We are ridiculously boring.

If I left early on Fridays, I'm pretty sure I'd fail at leaving early 50% of the time because I always think I should do "just one more thing."

So, with only half my Friday afternoons free and clear, I'd do a quick clean up around the house, decide what we're doing for food for the weekend and make sure we have everything. Find the swimsuits for swim lessons. And then the school bus would come and then family time begins.

Is this the stuff that my hairstylist and dentist are doing? I imagined they slept late, read the newspaper, and ate breakfast (that magically appeared) on breakable plates. Cue soft music, sparkling clean house, and cozy reading chair.

Of course, as an academic, everyone (including my financial advisor with whom I met earlier this morning) thinks I take the whole summer off. I could. My contract is for an academic year, and I'm not paid for work in June, July, and August. I try to imagine that, but the list for preparing for a school year is long, and if I waited until my contract begins again, the entire school year would not be pretty. The "summers off" is a myth as big as the taking off early on Fridays.

Oh sure, I'll take some time off because I certainly don't get to take February break, April break, Easter, teacher in-service, or other school-year days off. I have to hustle my son to camp like other working parents, but finally, for a few days in the summer, I'll help set up the plastic swimming pool and survive water gun wars. But, mostly, I will do what my dentist does with her Mondays off: I'll get ready for the next work cycle. I'll prepare for classes and try to create some partnerships. I'll present at three workshops, go to an event in NYC, win the weed war (I may have lost last year, but this year I'm armed with Spectracide and dangerous.). I'll write a proposal for my next research project and clean off my desk.

I suppose I always think the grass is greener (and certainly mine will be once I get rid of the darn weeds, so you just wait) on the other side, but I have a feeling my summers off are a lot like my hair stylist's Mondays--full of the things that make life a little bit easier on Tuesday.

What do you do with your days off?

No comments: