“I’m gonna raise a fuss. I’m gonna raise a holler. Working all summer to try to earn a dollar.”  “Summertime Blues

weekend farm500

Weekday work life has been all-consuming the past few weeks. So much so, that I have had to ignore the things I do online that I enjoy much more than all my online “work.” That leaves the weekends.

I do enjoy writing here for the weekend, but it takes a few hours away from other real world things. And I enjoy reading the poems people submit each month to my Poets Online site. I enjoy coming up with a new writing prompt.  I don’t enjoy as much formatting all of it and creating the web pages. The enjoyment ends with work.

My friend, Leon, teaches all week and then “works” on the weekend on a farm, but he loves that work – so is it work?

The song “Summertime Blues” popped up on my Pandora playlist this morning (the version by The Who though I like those by Blue Cheer and Eddie Cochran’s original). As serendipity or synchronicity would have it, it was followed by “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend.” That 1981 pop-rock hit that is more about romance than work or play, but it led me to write today a bit about the weekend.

After all, this blog started the summer of 2008 as my weekend retreat from whatever else I was doing online for pay. I said back then that meant I would write about  “things that I do or want to do on weekends – work outside, garden, paint, draw, travel, relax, stare at the sky, walk, hike, visit friends.” Somewhat ironically, writing about those things means you are not doing those things.

Where and when did we come up with the concept of the weekend anyway?  It is pretty modern. As you might guess, hundreds of years ago when you were farming or working at your craft every day was a work day to some degree.  Organized religion changed that. The Christian Sabbath was just one day each week, but the preceding day (the Jewish Sabbath) also came to be taken as a holiday as well as we entered the twentieth century. Combined with by a reduction in the total number of hours worked per week, we ended up with two days separated from the rest of the week.

Do you think of the week as beginning on Monday even though our calendar says it started on Sunday? It varies all over the world. In the United States, it was not until 1940, when a provision of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act mandating a maximum 40 hour workweek went into effect, that the two-day weekend was adopted nationwide.

Okay, that’s enough writing. I’m headed out into the garden.