When I was working fulltime, there was something about Fridays.  After an intense week (which most of them were), I wanted to change it up on Fridays.  It was great if I could take it off (a rare event) but if not I tried to keep my calendar open.  I spent my Fridays dealing with loose ends from the week and planning for the upcoming week.  I didn’t mind meetings or calls in the morning, but we all dreaded a long, and usually stressful, meeting in the afternoon that went until 5 PM.  I would leave those meeting stressed, preoccupied, and knowing I had a 1 ½ hour commute ahead.  It was even worse in the dark and rainy winter months.  When I was in a position of authority, I tried to keep Fridays manageable for my staff.

In retirement, I still have a fair amount of structure to my days.  I keep a calendar (appointments) and a ‘to do’ list (tasks, errands, chores), as do most of my no longer working fulltime friends (with a few notable exceptions).  I took an informal poll of my friends to be sure I was in good company and I am.  Many of us keep a list, either written or on our phones.  It is much less structured than when we worked, but a list it is. 

Here is a note from one of my friends about her ‘to do’ list:

Daily, written in a notebook!! A must, love it.


Now back to Fridays.  I had a particularly stressful week recently.  It involved two commutes to Seattle and one of those on a day that Vice President Harris was in town, making for particularly brutal traffic.  We had 3 high stakes doctors’ appointments that all turned out well.  That Thursday night I decided I was going to take Friday off – no appointments, tasks, or unnecessary chores and just focus on self-care.

I think ‘self- care’ sounds good but is an often overused ill defined term.  I finally found a description that works for me:

Nurturing yourself is an important step towards feeling grateful……Focus on six categories: emotional (feel-good activities), practical (things like washing dishes), intellectual (challenging your mind), physical (stretching or a walk), spiritual (looking beyond yourself – e.g. time in nature or prayer), and social (connecting with people).

Judy Ho, Ph.D., clinical neuropsychologist

Dr. Ho doesn’t suggest you knock all 6 off on any given day, but to consciously include a self-care activity every day. I have unconsciously followed her advice for years, but it is easy to get in a rut. So, I would suggest changing them up on a regular basis.

Moving forward, I am going to try and keep my Fridays as unscheduled as possible and spend that time doing what I enjoy the most – spending time alone or with my husband, being with family or friends, reading, walking, going to a movie, meditating.  My chores and tasks can wait – that is part of the joy and freedom of no longer having a set work schedule!




6 thoughts on “TAKING FRIDAYS OFF

  1. Loved your “no work Friday”🤪It was a little harder as a teacher but I managed a”no work “ portion. I put on a movie and proceeded to clean up the classroom, finish lesson plans, sort out papers for the following week or whatever needed to be done.The kids were as happy as I was. It worked best for the hour before PM dismissal. Caroleen


  2. If I didn’t get my message to you, I’d put a movie on the last hour on Friday to clean up,finish lesson plans etc Caroleen


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