We humans are funny creatures. We’re blessed with an entire lifetime to enjoy, and yet we only practice really appreciating small portions of it we call 'weekends'.
What’s wrong with us? We love to say that life is a gift, but it seems we really only mean that about the time we don’t spend at work. And I get that. Work isn’t necessarily enjoyable, and celebrations should be reserved for the joyful extraordinary. We can’t go around all day, excited about everything, unless we want to look absolutely ridiculous… right?
But if we spend our lives living for the weekend, believing we have to wait for the next break in our hectic schedules to give ourselves permission to rejoice in the beauty around us, we’ll end up wasting our days, looking back on missing, unnoticed chunks of time and wondering where it all went. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather rejoice every day, than only some days. Because that’s what this life is made of – thousands of little ordinary days knit together to make one extraordinary miracle. And it’s a pity to waste even one second of it wishing for something else, don’t you think?
So, how can we do that, exactly?
Here are 6 ways to help you savour each and every day:
Turn up the music and dance
Set your current favourite song as your alarm tune (for me, it’s Justin Timberlake’s 'Can’t Stop the Feeling') and let it launch — rather than drag or pry — you out of bed and into your day. Weekends are marked by celebration, since we use them to indulge in pleasures we may not give ourselves permission to enjoy during working hours. But shouldn’t every day be a celebration?
Yes. It should. And nothing says you’re going to celebrate this day quite like dancing into it.
Linger over your morning cup of coffee or tea
If you’re not much of a morning person, you can choose to relax into your day instead. Fight the expectation that relaxation is only for those days when you have time to spare by allowing yourself some minutes in the morning to hit the snooze button a few times and still brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea to help you slip into your day. Sip it while you journal or pray, resisting the urge to take it on the go with you or to start that massive to-do list until you’ve finished it, and train your brain to resist the stressed-out hustle by taking your time first thing in the morning.
Make time for your friends and family
Who says friend time is only allowed on weekends?
Oh, that’s right. We do, when we get busy, stressed, and overworked. But here’s the thing: it’s just as important – maybe even more important – to call upon our tribe for support in moments of duress as it is to chill out with them on weekends when everything’s peachy. So call a family member or a friend to get a much-needed mid-week laugh, go to lunch with a coworker, or arrange a Wednesday night cocktail hour with your girls to escape the stress of work, instead of waiting for the weekend.
Practice being present
It’s easy to be present on weekends, when we don’t have dozens of other duties vying for our attention. We’re free to give ourselves to the moment at hand and enjoy it. But the truth is, we’re saturated in grace and joy all the time. Breathe deeply in the midst of the bustle. Go for a walk and take special note of your surroundings. Savour dessert. Look for the good, and give yourself permission to find it everywhere, every day.
Try something new
Weekends give us the opportunity to ditch our daily routines in favour of new experiences, and it’s so easy to sprinkle these in every day as well! Wear that blouse that’s been hanging in your closet for months. Take a new route to work. Try an exotic recipe for dinner. Begin a new book before bed.
Make time for something you enjoy
We might not all be able to get to a beach every day, but we can all make time for a pursuit we enjoy that has nothing to do with work. Plan a time to exercise, to read, to write, to sing, to practice your instrument, or knit that scarf you’ve been meaning to get to for months. Be intentional about this and write it in your calendar so it’s as nonnegotiable as a doctor’s appointment or a flight, and then honour it for the sake of your sanity.
This life is too wonderful to waste it wishing for the weekend. Take a break to see you don’t have to wait at all to appreciate and savour the beauty that’s already all around.
Sarah Zentner is a freelance writer who specializes in topics concerning twenty-something life and the Christian faith. She loves walking with others through this turbulent period of life, and she believes in nursing every young woman’s love for and belief in herself. When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys singing along to musical soundtracks, savoring a piece of delicious chocolate, or curling up with a cup of tea and a great book.