I’ve noticed myself doing something the past few weekends that has been really working for me, in my head I’ve been calling it “gentle productivity”. Meena Harris has those tweets that went viral:
And I know I don’t have kids or dogs or even a partner to have to do things with and there are no social plans at the moment because Ontario is in a stay-at-home order still BUT this has been working very well. I feel relaxed and I get all my little tasks and chores done. And if that isn’t supposed to be what a weekend is then I don’t know what the point of a weekend is.
It does require some setting up for success. I write my Saturday blog post throughout the week as obsessions occur to me, I start my laundry on Friday nights. I say start because I air-dry almost everything excluding sheets and towels so my laundry does sit on the rack for most of the weekend and clean the kitchen. Then I sit down and watch TV until quite late. It is then basically what it sounds like, I sleep in, make coffee and read or stitch while I lazily scroll through Instagram for a few hours. I might shower or workout or go for a long walk. Then I meal plan, but I don’t go grocery shopping, that would simply be too many things for this kind of lazy-but-getting-stuff-done weekend. Now after all of these things it is time for a break, to make a big lunch and watch some YouTube videos or Netflix or read the afternoon away. Now if I lived in an urban area I would almost 100% get delivery for supper but I don’t so I try and make sure I have an assortment of leftovers to put something together or if I’m feeling like it this is typically the night that I follow a Half Baked Harvest, GrossyPelosi, or some kind of Pinterest recipe.
Then Sunday is much of the same. Sleep in, I typically do a Timmies run because I’m normally out of food or coffee at this point and Tim Hortons is the only place in town that is open on a Sunday. Then I come back home, eat, scroll through social media again and then decide if I am going to Dryden or to the local grocery store for groceries. If I go to Dryden I skip the earlier Timmies run because there is a Starbucks in one of the supermarkets there. So I have to choose where I am going to do my groceries. That shapes the rest of my day, but either way it’s slow. If I go to Dryden I park at the supermarket, get Starbucks and then go for a walk down the nearby waterfront. One of my favourite things about the Dryden waterfront is that it has this little island in the middle and all the Canada geese seem to stay on it, so there’s no sneaking by the most terrifying Canadian creature. From there, there may be some cleaning, doing the dishes, polishing furniture, tidying up, but only what pops into my head as something I want to do.
There is something so simple about the way my weekends are going. I almost want to call it ease. It’s not quite ease, because like the nerd I am I looked it up and it said it is the lack of difficulty or effort and while this way of living my weekends is not difficult it does take effort. I do chores on all of my lunch breaks and every evening to be able to accomplish these weekends. And it’s not that I am not doing anything on the weekend, I polish furniture, clean my kitchen and my bathroom, do laundry, meal plan, grocery shop, meal prep, all while sleeping and relaxing and enjoying life.
It is so weird to continuously have weekends off, to have designated days for my own enjoyment, to get things done, to make life easier. It is such a luxury that I have never experienced before, it feels almost magical. And it’s not that I didn’t have time off it just always felt so busy, never as calm as this, never soothing.
I think it also comes from the fact that what I do now isn’t as physically exhausting as anything I have done before, and I only have 1 job instead of 2-4. Having time is such a privilege, being able to afford to have time is such a privilege. It feels like a true understanding of when there was that backlash against the girlboss attitude of “You have the same 24-hours in the day as Beyoncé”, without recognizing that Beyoncé has a huge amount of income, staff, and support to be able to accomplish what she does in a day. Just the simple act of not having a physically demanding job and so not needing a full day to sleep and physically recover, and a slightly higher income so that multiple jobs are not necessary has added a huge amount of ease and privilege into my life.
As much as I can’t wait for life to return to social plans, engagements, wearing nice clothes, seeing friends and family and travel I do hope that some of this ease that I have cultivated into my life can continue. I hope I don’t feel the need to live at the previous workaholic, breakneck speed that I was surviving at before. I know it was part of a phase of my life, grad school, paying for it, trying to make rent, and be social however I think if I have learned anything this past year it’s that I am okay with living more slowly, more simply, and adding more ease to my day-to-day life.
This post did not exactly end up the way I intended it, I meant it to be about how to have an easy, light, productive weekend and instead I mused about girlboss culture, the pandemic, and ease but here we are!