Everyone tells me, “Dave, you shouldn’t be living just for the weekend!” But I wonder, how do people who work in a typical 9-5 corporate environment avoid lusting over the liberty and excitement that the weekend brings. Two whole days to do what you want to do; spending time with family or friends, traveling, working on side projects, gaming, etc. For me, it means two whole days where I don’t have to be in a windowless room coding in front of a computer screen for eight hours. It also means I can add meaning back into my life through traveling and personal relationships.
See, at the start are every week I journal some of the best experiences that I had the previous week. I call this my “week in review” and it’s my form of a gratitude journal to increase my overall levels of happiness (check out my previous post about techniques to be happier). Last weekend was amazing, all my friends spent a day at the beach celebrating one of our mutual friend’s birthday. A ton of good pizza, drinks and polaroid pictures (yeah they’re back in style) made the trip extremely memorable. I wrote about this extensively in my weekly review.
I also use an Android app called Pixels, which allows me to track my daily satisfaction throughout the year. I find it useful in helping me remember the small moments of joy that I might experience each day.
I imagine that a lot of people would find all this journaling to be overkill, but I love introspection and data. However, I’m starting to notice an obvious trend every week. On my typical work days (Monday- Friday), my journal would include something like “Work was meh, but I ran into an old friend.” Or also something like, “Work was slow, but then I got excited for a new side project.” Honestly, most of my best moments from the week comes from something that I did during the weekend. My typical work day doesn’t involve anything that sparks excitement. It feels like an endless chore that I have to endure for 50 more years.
This is not universally true for everyone though. I find it interesting that my friends who are all corporate software developers, tax accounts, and database administrators spend the weekend either clubbing, partying, going to EDM concerts, snowboarding, etc. While my friends who are nurses, social workers and police officers, prefer to spend their weekend in quiet peaceful solitude.
This leads me to ask myself, am I missing so much excitement during the week that I’m using the weekend as a means to make up for that starvation? Perhaps I should work on sprinkling some more excitement after work each day to even out the pace?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a software developer who loves to build things of value for other people, but maybe something is missing? And also given the fact that I’m only 23 and have no dependencies (other than student loans) makes me more eager to explore the adventures of life and not sit behind a desk for an eternity.
But still, as my co-worker always tells me, “Dave, it could be worse.”