Friday afternoons are _______. Twenty-fourteen will be ______.

Without stopping to think about it, terms I readily or historically have used to describe Friday afternoons are/were: awesome, stressful because there is always a fight 8th period, a great excuse to treat myself to another coffee treat, the best time to coast through to the end of the week by doing essential easy tasks, a great time to throw caution to the wind and have another drink at happy hour because it is half off (and you CAN’T pass up things that are half off whether it is drinks, Christmas wrapping paper, or a throw pillow), exciting because I was going to go visit my boyfriend in Kansas, abuzz with talk about weekend plans and events, and dreadful liberating because you don’t have anything planned for the weekend and the world is your oyster.

Underemployed Fridays afternoons have taken some adjustment. I’ve just finished a Friday afternoon home alone. I worked out for 90 minutes not because it is a New Year’s resolution, but really because I had nothing else to do. I shaved my legs, did some re-decorating, and now I’m watching some old What Not to Wear on Netflix. This is one of those times where I say, “Underemployment, booyah.”

But…(Insert selfish complaints below.)

A free Friday afternoon sometimes kills the anticipatory joy that characterizes most Friday afternoons. I remember how I used to feel after a week of my old job – happy hours were well-deserved and plans for the weekend were grand and glittery. I miss that feeling of satisfaction after I made it through another week. Yet, when I was in that position I would have paid or bartered for a stress-free Friday afternoon. The grass is always…

Settling in to 2014 is like trying to get comfortable in your movie theater seat. I’m happy I’m at the movie, looking forward to what is ahead, but my butt isn’t loving the cushion, my feet are kind of sticking to the old pop spills on the floor. Eventually, I’ll get comfortable. I can’t look at 2014 as, “another year I’ll probably be underemployed.” That isn’t fair to myself, to The H, or to anyone. Twenty-fourteen already has an all-star lineup for us and we’re only at January 3. Here are our starters:

  • Family coming to Chicago for a fun weekend. I’ll never pass up an opportunity for my mom to buy my lattes and dinners.
  • Two close friends’ wedding in Kansas City. The H and I are in the wedding party, on the same side even. I will make him shave and behave, you can all count on that.
  • My cousin is getting married as well! Always fun to get the family together for such momentous events. The H will again be shaved and behave.
  • BRAZIL. We have booked our “latermoon” for June, during the World Cup! And, we’re meeting my sister by a road-side fruit stand where she will join us on our South American adventure.

All these things before we’re even to the half-way point in the year.

And, let me pull this gem out of my velvety satchel, we’re going to sign up for the Chicago Marathon that is in October. I’ve always kind of rolled my eyes at signing up for a marathon, but I’m turning 30 this year so let’s call it my third-decade crisis. And even if I don’t finish, I’ll still get the swag, which is really the only reason I do any race.

Whether it is because you’re skipping with excitement towards the weekend, have had a horrible week and yearn for the relaxation of the weekend, or got to wind down a few hours earlier than most, Friday afternoons are great.

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