Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Every Day a Friday

I love Fridays, and I'm not alone. Most people associate the last day of the workweek with feelings of relief, relaxation, and anticipation of good times to come in the weekend ahead. You know there has to be something special about a day when the feeling of celebration that accompanies its arrival is even commemorated in the name of a restaurant chain!

And so I, too, celebrate Fridays. After dropping my son off at school I head to Starbucks, to pick up a coffee treat of one type or another. Then instead of driving straight home I generally take a long route through the most scenic roads I can find, which usually includes my favorite corner of the local state park. On and on throughout the day I find myself smiling and happy for no other reason than that the day's name starts with an "F" rather than a "M," "T," or "W."

When I pick my son up again hours into the afternoon we high-five physically and vocally, our chorus of "FRIDAY!" resonating at least as loudly as our hand slap. Then we point out to each other the signs of beginning celebration in the college town we drive through. We see footballs being passed on fraternity lawns, hamburgers being thrown on grills, people parked on front porch swings, and parties everywhere swinging into action. Sometimes it seems as if the whole world is celebrating Friday!

The other day I emerged from a doctor's office happy over a positive prognosis in a health situation I was concerned about. My good mood was amplified by the signs of spring that were bursting all around me -- flowers blossoming, birds singing, bright sunshine warm upon my back. I was suddenly ready to celebrate, and java-scented thoughts wafted through my brain. I whispered the word "Cappuccino!" and headed for the specialty coffee bar that was conveniently located just around the corner.

My mind rebelled. "What are you doing? It's Tuesday! Coffee treats are reserved for Fridays!" And suddenly I realized how ridiculous that line of thinking was! Why should Fridays be any more special than any other day of the week? Why waste six days while waiting to rejoice on the seventh? Minutes later I was walking back to my car with a big grin on my face and a raspberry mocha in my hand.

A small victory, to be sure, but it's also an accurate example of how many of us live our lives. We're waiting for conditions to be right before we allow ourselves to enjoy our time here on earth. Maybe when we finally graduate from college and get a job it will be time to celebrate, or perhaps when our toddlers are old enough to be in school all day. We'll rejoice when the car is paid off, or enjoy life when we're finally able to retire. And in that waiting we waste so much of the life that God has given us and the happiness that can be found in our todays. What if we moved a little of that "Friday feeling" into our rainy-day Mondays, our gloomy Tuesdays and our mid-week Wednesdays? Surely our lives would be much happier as a result.

It's interesting to note that T.G.I. Friday's isn't open for business on just the last day of the workweek! No, they celebrate all week long and into the weekend.

So should we.

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