The work week without work

Though completing a few projects recently has left me less occupied during the week, I’ve been feeling very busy on the weekends thanks to a variety of events occurring through August and September, with more to come through October. This pattern of busyness is, of course, quite the opposite of what I experienced while working full-time.

This in part reflects a change in my social circumstances in moving from Singapore to New South Wales, where the Society for Creative Anachronism holds many weekend events and I have been willing and able to travel to SCA and other events in several different cities. In Singapore, of course, there is only one city to go to and I wasn’t involved in so many non-work activities (though Singapore does have more or less the same concept of a weekend that Australia does, at least for office workers like myself).

It also reflects a certain kind of regimentation both on my part and on the part of society as a whole. At society level we’ve agreed that Saturday and Sunday will (for most people) be set aside to do something other than work, and I’ve followed this pattern even though I only work part-time. In the case of weekend events, I do this in order to fit the schedule of said events, but I also do it out of habit. I do everything related to A Little Research and Western Sydney University on weekdays; go for a drink on Friday evening; do my shopping and projects around the house on Saturday; watch a movie on Saturday night; and go hiking on Sunday.

I could in principle free some time on weekends by doing some of the projects around the house on weekdays, or going hiking on days other than Sunday, but I have a hard time feeling comfortable with this. Apart from habit, reserving certain times for certain things is part of my discipline in ensuring that I really do complete the work that I am required to do for A Little Research and Western Sydney University, and that my projects at home progress at a reasonable rate. Sundays are also a good day for travel thanks to the $2.80 maximum fare that Transport NSW offers on that day.

Perhaps if we discarded the idea of a five-day work week, we’d also discard the idea of a weekend, and community activities could happen on any day of the week. Or perhaps we’d continue to hold that certain days should be set aside for widely-attended activities like community sport and public events, or maybe we could extend the weekend to include Friday or Monday. For now I guess I’m happy enough with a two-day weekend proper, given that I have plenty of time to attend to shopping, appointments with doctors and tradespeople, training courses and so on during the traditional work week.

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