When Is A Day Off Not A Day Off?

My schedule is pretty decent overall. I get to work at 8, I leave at 4:30. I do it from Monday to Friday with the rare after-hours event/job. And I like what I do.

On Saturdays I take care of our two boys so my wife can work at her salon or work on her online store. These days are usually a little longer but I have alot more freedom to choose what we do, where we go and such.

But this leaves just one single day out of each week where I do not have pre-scheduled commitments. It is the one potential day a week that I can go out for a long and needed bike ride in the woods. It is the one of the week that I should definitely be able to sleep in as late as I can.

So what happens when that one potential free day of the week has other activities scheduled on it? I get annoyed and feel like I'm stuck without any free time at all. Like this coming Sunday. Its Easter Sunday which means absolutely nothing to me since I don't buy into the Christian mythos about resurrections and crucifications. Sure, the egg hunt is fun and ham dinners are nice but the underlying reasons for Easter are founded in a belief system that I refuse to subscribe to. But it is a family day with my wife's side of the family and there's an expectation that I will attend, regardless.

And I am faced with either sucking it up and doing the family thing which involves driving up to the East Bay and making happy faces all day with my wife's family. Or bowing out and getting guilt trips about not leaping at the opportunity to spend a fun-filled day with her family. And then Monday comes and I go back to work without ever getting a break and my stress levels continue to rise.

I need the downtime. I need to be able to unplug and not have to be working all the time. I can feel the burnout trying to get me. I can fend it off with my pre-work workouts, my post-work bike rides and the occasional get togethers with my pals. But the patent reality is that I absolutely need to get my downtime to recharge myself to better cope with the next week's frustrations.