Monday morning comes along almost every seven days or so and the workweek looms ahead. Five. Long. Days. Standing at the end, however, is Saturday. Sweet, unencumbered, unscheduled Saturday. A day to sleep in. A day of freedom.
On Monday morning, I think about the evening and the chores I will accomplish. I will get things done that can’t get done during the workday. Errands. Home repairs. Cleaning the fridge. My list is long, but I figure I can knock a project or two out of the park.
Monday evening rolls around and somehow at 7 p.m. my plans for projects don’t seem as necessary as they did at 7 a.m. And besides, there’s always Saturday. I can clean the fridge on Saturday. Sweet Saturday.
Tuesday rolls its eyes at the rest of the week, which remains plentiful. There is much time to get much done. My morning ideals involve an evening spent sorting through the junk drawer; it’s been nearly a year since I did that, and you know how junk multiplies.
The day unfolds. I find myself in the middle of Tuesday evening, and I hardly have the time or energy to help with dinner prep and cleanup. I decide I deserve a rest, and the junk drawer can wait. There’s always Saturday, after all. And I don’t have much going on Saturday, except for plans to sleep in.
Wednesday — hump day. We all know how this is going to unfold, don’t we? My plans for getting ahead on the laundry sounded so good at 10 a.m., but by dinnertime, not so much. Plus (you’re already ahead of me here, aren’t you?) why not just do it on Saturday?
What a joke.
But a true one. My weeks unfold this way. Saturday seems like a great big expanse of time — 24 whole and long hours — when it is three or four days away. I can get so very, very much done on Saturday. No need to worry about procrastination on the weekdays. Sweet, unencumbered Saturday can conquer anything.
By Friday, I am feeling the heat. I realize I have stacked activity and chore and task one-on-top-of-the-other in anticipation of Sweet Saturday and there is no way, no how I will be able to get all the tasks on my to-do list checked off as done. I realize sleeping in may be a dream because my Saturday is no longer unencumbered.
So, on Friday I kick it into top gear. I attempt to dive into the tasks I’ve been putting off all week, so that Saturday can remain sweet. I launder. I make muffins out of the brown bananas so they don’t go to waste. I vacuum and make a partial attempt at cleaning out the junk drawer. I even make dinner.
By the end of the day (evening), I am exhausted. It’s been a week.
And then Saturday rolls around. Sweet Saturday. I still have a lengthy to-do list, but I decide to sleep in anyway. Besides, who’s going to see my dirty fridge? And junk drawers are so named for a reason.
Saturdays are meant to be Saturdays. Encumbering them with anything other than an empty to-do list is more bitter than sweet, and I’ll take sweet any day of the week — but especially on Saturday.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.