This iconic quip from the matriarch of Downton Abbey raises an important question in this time of house bound pandemic. As we work and school at home it is all too easy for us to lose track of what day it is. I find myself often asking, “Is it Tuesday? Wednesday? How did get to be Friday already?” as one at home day runs into another until they begin to smudge together.
But today is Saturday. For most households Saturday and Sunday have a different rhythm and cadence. We eat different foods, sleep in, go out to activities, watch sports, cart kids around to birthday parties, practices, games, wear different clothes, and attend church. It is a time to take a break (however chaotic it seems) from our “regular” routine of school, work, and appointments. Even at its most frenzied, they two days provide a chance to rejuvenate and renew our spirits, and allow ourselves a re-set before starting it all over on Monday.
Staying home 24/7 makes this even more essential! It caused me to take a minute and reflect on what “weekend” means to me. It might be dressing down on one day and dressing up the next. It might mean special breakfasts and watching cartoons. It might be not being on a schedule. It really doesn’t matter what the details are as long as we are attentive to keeping weekend sacred by doing as many of those special weekend things we did before we were homebound.
Succumbing to the temptation to check work e-mails or do one more thing… “since I’m home not doing anything else” is a dangerous rabbit hole to go down. For as the days and boundaries between work and play begin to blur our emotional and spiritual health will also take a down turn.
Creativity is the key. My husband and I usually have a date night on Friday nights. But this Friday instead of going out for a candlelit dinner in a restaurant, we called of our favorite places and got take out. I dressed for the “date” and had the table set nicely with, you guessed it candles. I played romantic dinner music and we took our time. No, it was not the same as a night out on the town, but to be honest, it filled the bill pretty well.
If you regularly take an outing with the kids, perhaps going on line to find a video roller coaster ride or walk through the zoo might be fun. Getting outdoors for a family game of soccer, baseball, or whatever your favorite is can be fun. You might even have a tiny cheering section. Some of fondest memories are of my sister and I playing “ball” with a broken oar and a beat up softball. Two players, no gloves, one base. Don’t forget to have some game-time snacks afterwards. If going to the movies is a favorite – pick something that you might not usually watch, family videos, or an old favorite from the cabinet and bring the popcorn out. Gathering the family together for “church” is another good way to make these two days a bonafide weekend.
Whatever it is that we do, it should answer the question, “It wouldn’t be a weekend without _____________.” Yes, Mom and Dad deserve to have their choices honored as well. At this time of stress breaking up the monotony of endless days with a “weekend” is as essential as breathing to our spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Exodus 20:8-10.
If God can do it, I guess I can too.