It’s Saturday morning. By ‘morning’ I actually mean ‘one in the afternoon, but I just got up and made breakfast, so bite me.’ Last night I went out and saw a movie with a friend, played some air hockey for the first time in a decade, and won both games, which feels just as righteous at twenty-four as it did when I was fourteen. Arcades should never go away. And screw first-person shooter games. It’s all about air hockey and skeeball and those machines that would let you keep playing forever with 50 cents if you were good enough. Mortal Kombat. Oh, man, nostalgia’ll kill you.
Now, yesterday was a blow-off day for me. I had just finished a pretty hefty-sized couple of projects. It was a cold, gray, ‘Curl Up With a Cup of Tea and Watch Doctor Who on DVD’ kind of day, and I know to obey those days if you don’t have a good reason not to. Otherwise the Gods of Naming Days come after you, saying stuff like, “Dude, we named it that for a REASON. We did not name it ‘Get a Jump Start on Next Week’s Work’ Day, DID we? NO. It was even sub-titled ‘Christopher Eccles Is MY Doctor’ Day. What is WRONG with you? Quit organizing your receipts for tax purposes this second and watch him dip Billie Piper.”
Which means that today, Saturday, is a work day.
And I have a confession to make.
I like working on weekends.
Seriously. I like the devil-may-care nature of the whole thing. I like heading on over to the farmer’s market and parking myself and my notebook behind the cart full of fresh tomatoes and basil and scribbling down outlines in the midst of the smell and the street busking musicians and the flower-sellers. Eventually I’ll toddle over to a cafe full of people who are all having a lovely weekend, getting some breakfast with their lovers the morning after, discussing the vacation they might take, the book they just read, the relaxing, diverting, amusing stuff. Nobody talks about work on a Saturday. Everyone is tired of that. They talk about the stuff they enjoy, and that’s a delightful environment to write in, because I enjoy my work. It’s writing. It’s the best fucking job in the world.
If you’re a writer. I imagine that for a fisherman, catching fish is the best job in the world. And that is cool too. Power on, fishermen. Everyone’s got their own truth. My truth is Writing Rocks. Yours may be that Star Wars Rocks. And both of these things are equally true.
When I write around other people who hate what they do for a living, it starts to rub off on me. I start to go, “Yeah! Work sucks! Rise up and overthrow your overlords! Who’s my overlord? Damn it, it’s me.” When I write in a cafe full of people enjoying their Saturday, that rubs off on me too. I say things like, “It IS a lovely Saturday, and look, I just finished this first draft! And you’re starting a band with some buddies of yours? Awesome. We are both extremely cool.” Much better. Anarchy is good for desperate times, but this is writing we’re talking about. I prefer to be chill.
Nine-to-five, Monday through Friday. Uh, no.
I like that I can tell the common calendar to back off, because I am going to take one day off on Friday and one off on Tuesday and hell, maybe half a day off on Sunday, just because I can. As long as I put in the forty hours a week (or so) I promise myself, I can work any day I want, and at any time of day. I can wake up at noon if I want to and work until eight. I can work for two hours in the morning, take the afternoon off, and finish up in the evening. I can get up at five and – no, wait, I can’t do that at all. Early morning is where my abilities are shot. But all the rest of it, I can do.
And yeah, this does often mean that I work Saturday AND Sunday. Or Friday evening, or other times when all the world is theoretically supposed to be out gallavanting the night away. That’s where my roguish nature steps in. I don’t want to dance just because it’s Saturday. I’ll dance on the day I wake up and just have to dance. I will dance in my front yard if I have to because it’s four a.m. on a Wednesday and no dancing places are open. I don’t want to work just because it’s Monday. Actually, if you think about it, nobody wants to work on Monday because it’s Monday. But you do, don’t you? Yeah, you do. Stop that. Listen to the gods of naming things. If they say that this particular Monday is, in fact, “Wear a Stupid Hat to Work and Shoot the Breeze with Your Boss All Morning” Day, do it. Go for it. Especially if you’re a freelancer. You have no excuses. No one is going to fire you for this stuff.
Yeah, sometimes I have a deadline. Sometimes I have to work on days that are much better spent hiking up a mountain. Most of the time I don’t, though. If I work whenever it feels good to work, and play when it feels good to play, my schedule generally accommodates that. I don’t need to play all the time. I don’t always have the urge. In the space of a week, I try to work about the same number of hours as everyone else works. I just catch them when the time is right.
It’s Saturday. I’m going to go write a bunch of monthly missives for a woman who runs public speaking seminars, and eat free melon from the fruit-stall guy, and maybe sit under a big tree and flick at ants that invade my personal space.
I love my life.
Subscribe. It’s Saturday.