My eyes open and for a moment, I am in “let’s go” mode. Then, I remember: it’s Saturday! The slow, languid feeling that is the very essence of Saturday mornings past settles in. I burrow deeper into my warm bed, savouring memories of those mornings as a kid.
My brothers and I would get up and pad, barefoot and in our pajamas, to the living room to watch cartoons. All week we looked forward to seeing what Fred, Wilma, Betty and Barney would be up to. Finally, there was Fred at work at the Bedrock quarry. The quitting time signal would blare and the big moment came when, in unison with Fred and each other, we belted out, “Yabba-dabba-doo”! Then we’d sing the theme song (Flinstones, meet the Flinstones. They’re modern, stone-age family) as we watched them all pile into the car and head to the drive-in theatre.
When we got hungry, we headed to the kitchen for breakfast. We sat at the table, still barefoot and in our pajamas, and watched the milk turn pink (or blue or green) from the Froot Loops cereal floating in our bowls. After breakfast, we could watch more TV, loaf around the house or head outside to find friends.
Somewhere in the intervening years, everything changed. Relaxing and doing nothing went out of fashion. Worse – it was scoffed at. Adults became hard-wired to constantly be “doing” something. The hours in our days were filled from the moment we woke until we hit the pillow again at the end of the day. And not only did we have to be doing something, we had to be the best at it – at least our own personal best. There was no time to contemplate life and no room for mediocrity.
But we still weren’t satisfied. We then inflicted this harried, over-scheduled way of life on our kids. Instead of cartoons, bare feet and pjs, on Saturday mornings they packed their hockey duffle bags, hurried to get to swim lessons or got ready for whatever extracurricular activity was the flavour of the day. Until now.
For much of this year, we’ve been forced to slow down. Many of us are working from home. Gatherings are prohibited. Stores, restaurants, gyms, theatres and other businesses are closed or restricted to essential services. It’s been hard on everyone for one reason or another. But maybe, just maybe, we can rediscover the art of whiling away some of that extra time on our hands by doing exactly what we want to do.
And I realize that what I want to do right now is have a nice mug of coffee – or maybe two – while I read the newspaper at my leisure. So I’m going to head to the kitchen to do just that. How will you spend your Saturday morning?