I find myself, more and more, living for the weekends. Respite from the hectic. I love my work but, frankly, it gets overwhelming. Never do I get to a comfortable, busy hum; it seems to stay at fever pitch. I know, I know, I whine here all the time about this, but it’s true.
This Monday is Columbus Day—a federal holiday. The Courthouse will be closed. Traditionally (as in twenty-five years ago and earlier), law offices also closed when the courthouse did. Not so anymore, we’ll be there just like a regular day…ah to be a Federal employee!
This weekend I have nothing on the slate (except, of course, that three-day trial looming next week). But, at least, I don’t have to work my pre-trial preparations around others this weekend. This is a luxury. Usually there is at least some family obligation or social event I feel I must attend, but this weekend there is nothing. What an inviting prospect!
Oh, I’ll stay busy enough. Believe me, there’s housework a plenty for me to do and then there are all those winterizing chores to come. And, I’ll have to prepare trial outlines….Too, I’ll probably fit in a nap both days…
So, that last item is what makes me feel guilty. I find myself think: “You have all that work waiting on you at the office. You should be there today catching up.” But what I have found is that I really, really need a couple days back-t0-back to recharge the batteries. This is not a cop-out. This is a reality.
When I get overtired, not only does the speed and clarity of my thinking suffer, I tend to get pessimistic and depressed. Thankfully, I have learned this about myself and find myself saying at times, “Yes, C, I know it all looks grim right now, but remember you didn’t get much sleep last night…things will look more manageable in the morning.” And usually that’s exactly right.
My brother, who practices with me agrees, as he has experienced the same thing. Some weekend days when we talk and I mention I am thinking of going in to catch up, he will caution me that I will be less effective if I don’t get enough time away from our work. I know he is right. It isn’t just the physical “rest” part of the deal. What I need is the time away from thinking about my work and churning through the issues it presents. On Monday mornings I find myself with new insights on existing situations; yet another proof that our brains work subconsciously on matters while we piddle and sleep and socialize.
I am certain that the concept of “days off,” especially structured ones, is relatively new to mankind (must research this). I don’t see how agricultural societies, for example, could actually take regular “days off.” The cows always need milking, the stock fed, and probably (I don’t know this…) work on the farm was as neverending as mine seems to be.
So I wonder: Are we just softer now, demanding actual “weekends” and all? Oh, yes, I’d venture to say so. Still, we can only be where we are, and where I am is needing those two days, back-t0-back if I can get them. C.