“What is a weekend?,” asked Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey.
“I don’t know anymore,” I answer, having been stripped of position and title.
I’ve lost all sense of clock and calendar.
Today really feels like a Saturday… but I’m pretty sure it’s a Thursday.
I woke up at 6:30 this morning, and realized there was no place I had to go, so I went back to bed until noon. By the time I arose again, had my pills, waited the requisite hour until brunch, and had a noonday meal with my son, it was already three o’clock.
Now, after an hour on social media, it feels like there are three things I should be doing: napping, bathing, and getting dinner together.
But then the day will be over, and I will have accomplished nothing.
This would be okay if today were really Saturday, and I had been taking a well earned rest from a week of doing something, but it isn’t. It’s Thursday… and I don’t have anything to do until next Tuesday.
Oh, did I tell you? I have a job interview lined up for Tuesday. Between now and then, I have to cut and dye my hair, buy new shoes, lose 170 pounds, and stop walking with a cane.
I’ll go, of course. It would be a nice gig to get… about ten miles away from the house (one fifth of my former commute), and only 35 hours a week. It would bring me back into that orderly world where weeks had five well-defined days, and weekends had two days of welcome respite.
But then I remember that when I lived in such a world, I longed for a time and place where every day and every hour was my own… when I could sleep my own hours, awake and get dressed at will, travel only when conditions were optimal, play online at my whim and pleasure, and write anything I wanted whenever inspiration struck me. I remember how horrible it felt to know that my hours were someone else’s property, to be spent at their location even when there wasn’t any work to be done. I remember feeling like a vassal… and I hated it. I really did. I longed to be Violet Crawley, Dowager Duchess of Grantham…someone so free of constraints that even the concept of “weeks” and “weekends” escaped her.
You’d think I’d rejoice at my newly found aristocratic freedom… but dammit, I seem to have retained a very unpleasant sense of guilt, that dictates a need to fill SOME of my hours with productive labor… not even remunerative labor (though that would be nice), but work that would stamp me as someone with worth.
Lady Violet never needed the validation of labor.
Sadly, I do.