Almost every Monday, someone will ask me what I did over the weekend. For the most part, this is small talk asked just to pass the time. However, there seems to be an expectation that I did something that cost money. When I shrug and say, “Not much,” the asker usually launches into a tale about movies seen, malls visited, trips taken, or concerts gone to. More than one person has said something along the lines of, “I don’t know how you can just hang around the house all weekend.” Usually there’s a little pity in their voice, as if my limited weekends should be a source of shame.
I can probably count on one hand the number of weekends in a year where I do something like take a vacation, go to a concert, or see a movie in a theater. It’s not always a matter of money. I can afford to do those things, but I choose to save them for special occasions. I enjoy them much more that way. Things like movies or dinners out are rare treats for me and I appreciate them more than I would if they were every day occurrences.
There seems to be an assumption that you must “do something” over the weekend. You have to go to the beach. You have to see the latest movie, eat at the newest restaurant, or hit the hottest club. If nothing else, you have to go to the mall and wander around for a while. If you “do something” every weekend, it’s not surprising that money gets tight. All of those somethings add up to big money. Even if you replace the paid entertainment with free or low cost alternatives, you’re still spending money on gas to get places. These days, that’s not cheap. And, while the concert may be free, the meal you eat on the way or the refreshments you grab at the venue mot likely are not.
I prefer my quiet weekends. They give me a chance to rest, recharge, and catch up on things that are important to me. I get time to do things that need to be done such as cleaning and maintenance. I may not always enjoy everything I do on the weekend, but neither am I running around later saying, “I never have time to do X, Y, and Z.” I relish the days when I don’t have to be somewhere and I am loathe to take on a bunch of shopping trips and outings if I don’t have to. I don’t like to go to crowded places and drive through the traffic it takes to get there. I get plenty of that kind of aggravation the other five days of the week.
There’s nothing wrong with doing nothing over the weekend, or doing things that you need to do. Not every weekend has to be a production of expensive fun and frivolity. Try staying home and playing with the kids or taking a walk through the neighborhood. Try just reading a book or watching a DVD you’ve rented. Try dedicating an afternoon to decluttering a closet or painting that long neglected bathroom. It might not be a thrill, but you’ll feel satisfied that you accomplished something and it won’t be hanging over your head anymore. Don’t give in to the idea that you must “do something” every weekend. You’ll save money and buy yourself some extra time in the process.