Friday, September 17, 2010

End of Week

It's 3:30 a.m. on Friday morning. A half-hour ago it seemed the most appropriate thing in the world to arise from the downy lair and get into the thick of things. There is something persuasive about a Friday, particularly when I know that my current agenda isn't burdensome. I won't say it competes with the anticipation of Christmas morning, but there is unquestionably an element of titillation to a Friday, the end of week.

Frequently I am less than enthusiastic about Fridays. The day is after all seemingly the day of choice for real estate agents to complete residential purchase transactions, a choice which oddly ignores the fact that if there are any serious delays, the delay is compounded by the upcoming weekend when it is quite impossible to do any business. I have never understood this preference for end of week when there are four other perfectly sound days upon which to conclude one's dealings. The only thing worse is the agents' pitiless obsession with a Friday at the end of the month, as though it were somehow necessary to do everything at the last minute, causing maximum stress and strain upon the system generally, not to mention importing the lower class vernacular of tenancy.

Anyway I am needlessly indulging myself in the obsessive examination of an old wound. Allow me to cast aside such personal gratification in place of a cheerier disposition.

The relief of a Friday is the opposite of the anxiety of a Monday morning. By the end of the week we have succeeded in dragging ourselves through the muck of regular business and are poised to let down our guard for two days, usually feeling we have deservedly arrived at this threshold. Even if one's Friday is jammed with industry, there is nonetheless a certain nonchalance about Fridays, almost as though one had the privilege of snapping one's fingers at the exigencies of commerce. By Friday, it is considered almost too late to accomplish anything until the following week.

While I have never succumbed to the practice myself, I recognize that for many a Friday is considered a day upon which one can escape the demands of employment in favour of some preferred diversion. I confess that as a sole practitioner I have my nose more than a little in the air when I observe that this particular form of delinquency is common in either government or larger organizations generally where seemingly the practice can go unnoticed. It is only on the rare occasion that I take a holiday that I yield to the pleasure of closing the office at noon on a Friday, and then I consider it not an abandonment of my post but rather a small reward for my efforts. On another level Fridays are often thought of as somehow less formal, inviting such nominations as "Casual Fridays" on which people can wear less conventional clothing, for example. These are small concessions to the masses, and by now almost irrelevant considering what people are in the habit of wearing every day already.

The amusing thing about Google Earth is that it metaphorically illustrates the business about going from the general to the particular. If one thinks of one's life as a continuum, which of course it is, then the imposition of dates and times is really quite irrelevant. The whole idea of a calendar is odd in that it inflicts a regimentation which otherwise doesn't exist. To interrupt the week by forty-eight hours is of course entirely arbitrary. It should be noted that this custom wasn't always so. I have it on good report that years ago it was not uncommon for offices to close on Wednesday afternoons but open on Saturday mornings. I fully suspect that this custom was in deference to the surrounding farming community though I acknowledge I am not completely able to rationalize the thesis. In the early years of my practice, I actually tried to imitate this ancient habit, but it was short-lived for the simple reason that it only added a Saturday morning without circumscribing a Wednesday. I quickly discovered that the mind and body required a respite.

It is inescapable that Friday marks a transition, a point in time from which people can adjust their lives albeit in an ever so insignificant way. No one of course imagines that anything radical will happen just because it is Friday, but it provides the same relief that a couple of deep breaths provide. If one has been taut throughout the week, the intuitive discipline can be relaxed, much like coasting into the finish line.

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