SOMETHING strange has happened to our weekends.
They used to be better than this, right?
Two glorious days relaxing with the family and enjoying some well-earned downtime at the end of a long week. Wasn’t that the idea? Isn’t that what we all signed up for?
Well the terms of our agreement, it seems, have shifted. As the great Bob Dylan once said: the times they are a-changing.
Family day trips, leisurely Sunday afternoon strolls and calling in for a natter with loved ones have been yanked out from under our noses and replaced with supermarket shopping, trips to Ikea and playing taxi to the kids.
Life truly is 24/7 now and our lovely weekends of old have gone down the same route as shellsuits and Spice Girls shoes – firmly relegated to ‘times gone by’.
The phrase ‘In MY day...’ may sound as though it’s threatening to leave my lips, but I promise it isn’t. Because this IS my day. Sadly I’m from a generation that is thrilled to be able to shop at Meadowhall on a Sunday and pop to the supermarket at two in the morning. We have lost all boundaries. The concept of sociable ‘opening hours’ has vanished in the blink-of-an-online shopping boom.
My grandparents wax nostalgic about the weekends of their childhood. The shops were shut, everybody was off work and there was no Celebrity Family Fortunes on TV to wind anybody up. They would spend days out in the sunshine, go to church with their parents and, if things got particularly wild, somebody might pull out a board game after dinner.
Even going back just 20 years to when I was little, I can recall long family breakfasts and day trips to English Heritage attractions.
Who has the time anymore?
Now we all throw breakfast down our necks with a grunt in each others’ direction as we set about doing the housework, nipping to town, taking little Billy to his swimming lesson, young Bobby to his football practice and wee Barbara to her dance class. Not forgetting that a huge percentage of us now also work weekends, so nothing really is sacred any more. Nothing.
Sunday used to be God’s day. Now it’s B&Q’s.
You’ve never SEEN busy until you’ve tried to fight your way around their gardening section on a sunny afternoon.
Countries such as France and Italy seem to have got it right. R&R is such an important part of life over there that they’ll happily stop whatever they’re doing to take a mid-afternoon siesta. I feel guilty if I close my eyes for five minutes while I’m waiting for the washing machine to finish so I can put in the next load. So why hasn’t this rubbed off on us? Why is it they’re sitting around drinking wine from 4pm while we’re busy running ourselves into the ground?
It used to be: ‘ahh...the weekend, what shall we do?’ Now it’s: ‘aww crap...the weekend, what have we got to do?!’
I realise I’m whingeing, but to be honest – I’m shattered! The ever-growing digital world means we’re more fast-paced than ever, but – at just 27 years old – I do occasionally miss the good old days when a weekend was something to be savoured and enjoyed.
The only good thing? I used to hate the Sunday night blues, watching Heartbeat and Last of the Summer Wine, miserable at the thought of school the next day.
I don’t mind Monday mornings so much any more.
It’s quite nice to get back to work and have a rest.