Me Time: My Saturday Sabbath

chillingEditors Note: More than a decade ago, I committed to making Saturdays less busy and more fun. There were definitely large swathes of time in that decade where I completely fell off the wagon. But in the last few years, except when I have a workshop scheduled on a Saturday, I’ve been pretty good about keeping Saturdays as “Me Time.” Ditto Friday nights – I almost never go out. As one of my new goals is to try and extend this attitude to the entire weekend and take back my Sundays, I thought I’d share this post on my secular Sabbath.


I have an announcement to make:  I’m going to start celebrating the Sabbath.

No, I’m not getting in touch with my inner Jew. (For the moment, I think I’ll continue to remain Jew-ish rather than Jewish.)

I’m afraid it’s a much less lofty goal than that. I’ve decided not to work on Saturdays anymore. Read: no blogging, no email, no Facebook, no Twitter, so that I can focus more on myself. Or, to put it more accurately, I’d like to designate Saturdays as a day for doing things outside of work that also make me happy.

Yes, I know it’s a radical concept. But as we all know, it’s really hard to find time for the things we wish to prioritize in our lives unless we make room for them. I have a friend who decided to turn January into December so that she could take stock, clear the deck, and plunge into the New Year with some new projects raring to go. I once took a pretend vacation so that I could send my novel out  to agents.

The break I have in mind for Saturdays is somewhat different. The above projects are all about carving out space to move forward on the work front. What I have in mind is moving forward on the life front. For as I sat in a Viennese coffee house over the holidays and reflected on my life, I realized that in my never-ending quest to get on top of my to-do list, two things that  bring me true happiness had both fallen by the wayside:  doing yoga and reading The New Yorker.

You see, this is how my mind works. If something gets deemed a necessity in my life, it gets done. If it’s deemed a luxury, it may or may not get done. But if it does get done, that likely only happens around 11:59 p.m. on a Thursday evening with half an eyelid open and the corresponding amount of energy. And because I had begun labeling both yoga and The New Yorker “luxuries,” they just weren’t happening anymore, at least with the regularity that’d like.

So I’m making a change. For the next month – and I’m telling you this because one way you signal a commitment is to give yourself a time-line and say it out loud – I’m going to experiment with assigning myself only two jobs on Saturday – going to yoga and reading The New Yorker. My hope is that if I can do just those two things (with anything else a bonus), I’ll not only be happier, I’ll actually be more productive when I do return to the computer. If this strategy goes well and proves realistic, I’ll commit for the year.

Of course, I’m hoping that this new routine will incur other benefits as well. To wit:

*More face-to-face parenting, rather than shouting commands over my shoulder as I hurtle through my RSS feed

*Making a dinner that does not involve something out of a jar from Tesco

*Quality time with my husband so that we can watch more film commentaries together

*Actually playing all those board games that I bought for Hanukkah (BTW: Settlers of Catan? Totally worth it…)

And who knows? Maybe we’ll even make it to synagogue one of these days…

Image:  Photo by Victoria Bilsborough on Unsplash

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