Not everyone works “nine-to-five,” but many people work Monday to Friday. After that, they have two glorious days of freedom to rest and recover, before heading back to the grind. On a few fortunate occasions, the weekend is followed by a holiday Monday, creating a three-day weekend. Of course, you already know what a weekend is, but how do you think of your weekend?
I know that some people use their weekend to catch up on housework and yard work, then use the rest of their time to nap or watch TV or otherwise unwind. Other people are more ambitious, and use weekends to travel, play sports or engage in any other of their hobbies. Granted, some particularly busy people likely feel they barely have time to keep up with all their responsibilities.
It occurs to me that the end of the workday on Friday is like a mini-retirement from the workweek. After working hard for five days, there are two glorious days in which you are free to do whatever you choose. How you choose to spend your time says much about you, and you’ll likely make similar choices in retirement. Do you want to stay busy, feeling a sense of accomplishment at each project completed? I think many people feel this way about improving their house and yard. Do you want to create memories? Some people see value in spending their time with friends an family, socializing, partying or just being together. Do you want to continue learning? Many people feel that travel allows them to learn about the people and places they visit. There’s no reason that travel needs to be international, and many of us have access to interesting places to visit right near home.
A couple weeks ago, as part of a university course, a professor gave me the assignment of walking for 45 minutes downtown with a camera. We were asked to take 10 photos every 5 minutes (for a total of 90) and come up with some interesting views of urban objects and locations. My wife and I picked our kids up from school, took them for a snack and brought them on the walk. It was an experience that we all really enjoyed, but it was something that I wouldn’t have made time for, if it weren’t assigned. I love to travel and visit urban centres, but downtown Calgary (where we live) seemed too familiar or too close to home to be interesting, until we were actually there.
It seems to me that evenings and weekends can be great practice for retirement. What activities do you really enjoy, and how can you do them on a small scale? What makes you happy, and can you fit that regularly into your week? Once you can answer these questions, it seems fairly certain that you won’t be bored in retirement. Step two, of course, is making sure you have adequate financial resources so that you don’t end up working as a cashier at WalMart and being happy on evenings and weekends into the sunset of life.
What do you do on weekends? How do you make the most of your time away from work?