Warning: This may turn into a bit of an incoherent rant…
Until about a year ago, I would start my weekend by leaving work at 3pm on Friday afternoons, and heading to meet my weekly writers group at a cafe in a beautiful old part of town. We would write until about 5:00 pm, then order some wine and maybe dinner, and chat for an hour. The absolutely perfect way for any writer to ring in the weekend.
I never realized what a privilege it was for me to be able to leave work at 3pm to join my group until I suddenly couldn't anymore. I was assigned to a new project at work last year, which included a few more responsibilites than I had in the previous project. This is great, career-wise, but it also means that certain stuff has to get done by the end of the week, that I attend more meetings and overall have more of a workload. Which means that my Friday afternoon writers group (therapy) sessions have become a thing of the past.
In the beginning, I tried leaving "early", meaning just in time to join the late afternoon chat-rounds. But as the weeks went on, even those became more and more impossible. I'd start the day swearing to myself that I'd leave by 4:30 at the latest. When it became clear that I wouldn't make it - again - I felt like locking myself up in the bathroom and bawling. I'd never realized how important these Friday afternoons had truly become to me. Missing them made me miserable. Also, it made me resentful towards my job.
So I kind of gave up. I don't even try too hard anymore. It hurts more to hope and fail time and again, than to just accept the fact that I'll miss my weekend writer fix. I can better forget the thought that my friends are at the cafe, typing away on their laptops, chatting, laughing and having fun, if I don't still hold out hope to be able to join them. Right now, I have no other possibilities, no other solution.
And the moral of this whine-tinted rant? I don't know. Maybe it is that sometimes you have to set priorities which oppose your personal preferences. Maybe it is to learn to enjoy what you have while you have it, and be grateful.
Well screw that. I want my Fridays back.