I did something recently that I’m pretty proud of, so I want oodles of kudos, ya hear? But I also want you, dearest of dear dear readers, to realize that my wild success is also within your feeble reach. Check this out.
On Friday at 4:30pm, I got an email that meant that I would need to work on the weekend in order to meet a newly-learned deadline. I was frustrated, but also resentful. As I get older and take on the responsibility of keeping more living things alive and well, I find that I simply need my weekends in order to recuperate. And also, I just enjoy them so much more. But I want to do well and be helpful at work, so after huffing an exasperated sigh, I thought, fiiiiiiine, I’ll work on the weekend. The person who sent me the email informed me that he too would be working on the weekend, so if I had any questions, I could feel free to ask.
On Saturday, I put in a good solid couple of hours, maybe 3, trying to work. But it was nice outside and the more I worked, the bitterer I felt. I had other stuff to do and work was cutting into my cupcake-baking time. When my time ran out on Saturday, I thought man, I haven’t finished and now I’m going to have to work on Sunday too! Never mind, I told myself, just deal with it tomorrow.
Sunday arrived and the weather was even nicer. Plus, there was a list of things I wanted to do that didn’t involve sitting at a computer. And I didn’t want my kid to be sitting in front of a screen either, which is what would have happened had I worked. So I decided. I decided I simply was not going to work. Why should I use my personal time to make up for someone else’s poor planning? What would it get me? Who would it really hurt if I didn’t get my stuff in on time?
So, with considerable mental effort, I emailed my colleague, telling him I simply wouldn’t be done on time, suggesting that he either reschedule his meeting or show the missing part another time. I did not apologize. And then I went out to play. And it felt great.
Later in the afternoon, I got a reply from my co-worker. He just said, that’s fine, we’ll just show the stuff another day. That’s it. No angry words, no cc’ed boss, nobody hurt, and nobody died.
So let’s recap:
– I got asked to work on the weekend
– I said no
– Nothing bad happened
This is a skill that’s taken me upwards of 20 years to learn. I hope that I can now pass this learning on to you and that you too can reclaim your weekend. Go ahead, bake those cupcakes, lie on that couch, and feel the sunshine on your face. It’s your goddamn weekend so take it for fux aches!
Perhaps necessary disclaimer: OK, people, use your own good judgement. Sometimes you’ll need to work on the weekend. It happens. It helps if you care about the work you’re doing and the people you’re working with. That makes it a little easier to swallow. But all the extra time you’re putting in that’s keeping you from doing other stuff you enjoy? Maybe that’s not so necessary. Give it a thinky.
I’m finding this too as I get older. Maybe it’s wisdom or maybe I’m just running low on fucks to give but life is too short to worry about things that will not matter in a year, a month or even the next day.
Especially when they’re work related. The grave yard is full of rich men who have no mourners.
You and your sayings!
It’s hard sometimes because I still want to do a good job and be known as someone people can depend on, but one has to choose sometimes.
Absolutely agree. But being dependable doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. I’ve learned that lesson but it is hard putting it into practice.