Monday, February 07, 2011

Shan's perfect Monday

The following post was inspired by the frequently asked question: how was your Sunday?
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My friend Shan works at the weekend. He gets two days off -- Monday and Thursday -- in a week. It has been like this for the past 10 years.

He likes the current arrangement and would not have it any other way. There would be an amused look on his face when people asked him about his Sunday.

"I work on Sunday," he would say.

The response was entirely predictable: "Really! How sad. I never work on Sunday."

Those who regard Saturday and Sunday as days of rest can never understand how doctors, nurses, journalists, waitresses and musicians, among others, work very long hours everyday including over the weekend.

Oh, that's a pity, they say. These unfortunate souls have missed out on the pleasures that create the perfect break.

Shan disagrees.

He says that Monday is his perfect Sunday.

He wakes up early, goes for a walk, starts the day with a breakfast of local coffee and toasted bread doused in soft boiled eggs (picture), mucks about with his other half and cooks dinner for his family.

He does not think that he is missing out on all the fun just because he does these activities on Monday.

Journalists can relate to that.

As a junior reporter I used to work on Saturday and Sunday and took my two-day break in the week.

I, like Shan, created my own ideal of the perfect Sunday either on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. I did not feel a pang of envy at the thought of my friends who had Sunday off.

When it was my turn to take a break on Sunday it did not seem particularly special.

The important thing is to have at least one work-free day.

Times have changed since Grandma was young and it is difficult to keep up with the rapid pace of change.

Haven't we heard of some people getting out of the rat race and adopting a lifestyle change that embraces the simple pleasures, such as reading, walking, cycling and parent-child bonding. These are things that we do on our days off and vacations.

In the end, what it all boils down to is the quality of life, or the lack of it.

A perfect Sunday or Monday helps us to forget at least for a while about our demanding bosses and impossible deadlines.

There is also the matter of looking good and the effort we have to put in to stay young for as long as we can.

No wonder we are stressed out, we have been punishing ourselves in the week.

We need at least one day in a week to let loose.

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