Day 283: Fridays used to bring out the worst anxiety in me for some reason. I was never sure why because for many of us Fridays are the end of the working week and the chance to enjoy ourselves and relax on the weekend. I would start to feel anxious on a Friday morning and have no doubt my Thursday wine or beers contributed to that edginess but I think overall my issue was the unstructured way a weekend could unravel.
I’ve been a very structured and time disciplined person since my youth and thrive in environments where there are boundaries and rules. I did well at school, I’ve always did well in employment (maybe Christmas job at Argos aside!) and I have a lot of self-starting motivation to get things done.
During the week when I’m working my day is largely dominated by the 8 hours I spend at my desk and before I started working from home during the pandemic I’d also have the guaranteed commutes wrapped around my job which gave me a chance to switch between parent and worker whilst listening to some music, a podcast or if I was hungover, just hanging my chin out of the window.
The issue with weekends (especially since marrying and having children) is that despite the best will in the world your Saturday and Sunday becomes a free for all at times and it is pretty much none stop. It is difficult to stick to timings with small kids and difficult to step back and take a break from the non-stop joys of our little bambinos whilst at the same time trying to get chores done, fit in some exercise, eat, shit and god forbid in my case – try and put a few bets on the horses!
I would therefore feed my anxiety on a Friday morning by cracking open the booze straight after work on a Friday teatime and that would be me until Sunday night. Anxieties reduced or ‘gone’ until the awful return of them again on a Sunday after dark. It is no surprise I went down the path I did. A combination of my personality, my coping mechanism being alcohol and mild obsessive compulsive disorder regarding order, task completion and things needing to be in place NOW not later.
I’m not for one minute saying I’m cured of my Friday anxieties but when i was recently talking to a Therapist I did acknowledge that I no longer allow myself to be dominated by a ‘To Do’ list on a weekend. I have my parental responsibilities which may include taking my eldest to dancing or collecting the groceries and I have my own ‘hobbies’ like attending a football match every fortnight but beyond those fixed elements of the weekly calendar I try to go with the flow. I prioritise my ‘self-care’ over ‘chores’ and generally find that if I do acknowledge and complete things that help me mentally (run, walk, read, write, yoga, etc) I inadvertently become more productive over the weekend anyways so overall that ‘list’ gets shorter than if I tried to plough on through the list with the wrong mindset. I used to do that and you can guarantee I’d be drinking by lunchtime on a Saturday with a ‘fuck it’ attitude.
So Friday anxieties don’t dominate my Fridays anymore. Fridays remind me that I should pat myself on the back for my efforts as an employee, husband and father so far this week and to enjoy the weekend with my family.
Have a good one guys!