October 2012 Archives

October 27, 2012

The City Bumpkin

“How was your weekend? What did you do?”

Mondays seem to bring about an angst I felt as a kid, returning from winter break. Back then, I was poor country mouse desperately looking to avoid the dreaded question, “What did you get for Christmas?” because, most likely, it wasn’t much. That was only once a year; now, in the city of San Francisco, it happens once a week.

“What ya got planned for this weekend?”

Why do I have to do something every weekend? After a week’s worth of working, exercising, eating out and meeting up, sometimes you don’t want to do anything. This is known; often times saying you chose to do nothing elicits envy: “Oh! for a weekend where I actually relaxed!”

This has suddenly become ridiculous to me. Perhaps I’ve put my rose-colored glasses on, but as I recall country folk dont consider every weekend to require exceptional activity. In fact, the weekend was special because it allowed you to catch up on the things that wouldn’t fit into the week: the laundry, the yard work, the family, the rest.

Granted, there weren’t as many things to do available in rural settings, to compete with these simpler, ever-present options. But perhaps this is less a concession than an accusation—just having a million activities available in your locale is not an reason to do a million activities. The feverish pitch that arose annually in my youth from the coming of the Delaware State Fair seems positively embarrassing in a city where there are seemingly fairs and festivals every week.

“Do anything special this weekend?”

I postit that, precisely, this need for constant “next” and “new” desensitizes us to things of substance, value. We begin to assume the exceptional, erroneously, as the norm—and devalue the things that bring us normalcy, like peace and quiet. Spoken like a true humbug, I guess, but I see it as getting me closer to my new goals of removing those things which aren’t specifically expanding my opportunities and accomplishing my objectives. To be honest, the only benefit I can see for the weekend roller coaster is to be perpetually entertained—which assumes your sitting and watching while everything else works around you.

Perhaps I’ll do more by doing less on the weekend. Become a city bumpkin who puts around his backyard, writes a little more often on his blog, gets to his laundry and mail with some consistency. Perhaps people will ask about my weekend less and less, but the time for reflection and renewal will pay off more and more. And who knows—maybe when I do dust of my cosmopolitan shoes it will be to much consternation, shocking the world by going out. :)