Weekends Anxiety

World Calamity - Sydney Morning Herald 030207
World Calamity - Sydney Morning Herald 030207

It’s Sunday night, the end of another weekend, and I am proud to declare I think I’ve made a few inroads into my case of “weekends anxiety”. “Weekends Anxiety” is a phrase I’ve coined to define the paranoia experienced by those of us who work Monday to Friday, and who are of a “particular age”, that makes us want to cram everything humanly possible into the weekend, just in case we don’t have all that many left. It’s an anxiety based on the fear that if you haven’t organised lunch, brunch and dinner on both days with friends, and haven’t played sport, seen a play, or been to a movie, that a weekend is somehow wasted.

The weekend started, however, with a jolt. I woke yesterday morning to one the most dramatic headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald in living memory. With the SMH declaring, “World Wakes To Calamity”, I’d wondered if I’d woken up and had somehow missed a major natural disaster or a terrorist attack. But no, the SMH headline was about the latest United Nations report on global warming. I wondered if there was something of “the boy who cried wolf” about the headline, with the unfortunate resultant action being the broad populace would go on living in the same way, failing to do anything.

With the headline, however, strong in my mind yesterday afternoon, I wandered around Sydney, observing conspicuous consumption everywhere I looked. Have we survived so long as a species because we do recognise the need for change and adaptation, or is there something inherently selfish about our species that will eventually lead to our undoing?

Hopefully there’s room for optimism that humans do understand a problem when it occurs. Even when I went to the Art Gallery of NSW this afternoon (after a few hours at work), I noticed the nutters at Speakers Corner, were banging on about the environment. So I figure if the group of ratbags regularly found in The Domain on weekends are concerned, there’s room for optimism.

I’d gone to the Art Gallery to see the Anne Landa Award for contemporary art, currently on display up stairs. With an emphasis on video art, the award features artists including Philip Brophy, Daniel Crooks, James Lynch, Tony Schwensen, Grant Stevens, Monika Tichacek, and Daniel von Sturmer. Although I don’t really have the inclination to write a complete review, I was really impressed with most of the art on display.

Crown Street Protest
Crown Street Protest

And from the AGNSW, I wandered down through the Botanic Gardens, had a lie down on the grass, and wandered back through Surry Hills. Walking along Crown Street, I noticed something I’d read about but wasn’t absolutely sure about. I’d read about concerns Sydney Water is about to sell off the old Crown Street Reservoir. It wasn’t til I saw the protest signs that I knew exactly where it was, located closer to Oxford Street. The point the protestors are making is that if the reservoir is no longer needed, it could be turned into a small park with spectacular views.

My friend Colin and I went for dinner last night at RQ, one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney. As usual the food was excellent, but it was also very noisy last night and we waited far too long for the main course. Last night was my ex’s birthday, and oddly enough, his doppelganger was seated at the very next table. Unnerving to say the least.

So yeah, I made it through Saturday confident that I’d made good use of the free time afforded me. Today, however, was a different case.

I’ve spent most of the day watching television and playing around with this website. As you can see, I’ve moved “blog house” again, for the second time in as many years. I was with Netregistry for a few years and they were quite good, but then when they re-focussed away from personal accounts, and wouldn’t allow me to buy extra space, I went looking for another service.

So for the last year or so I’ve been with Byethost, supporting WordPress until this week when I realised what an amateur operation they really were. To be fair, they were trying to improve their service, but in doing so they changed database names and passwords without notification. When I politely suggested they had not communicated the changes well, I received this bullshit excuse… “To prevent mass email abuse, we have not emailed customer to give advanced noticed of the move”. Yeah, sure! Several attempts to make the changes led me to seek ticketed support which was always “half done”, leading to mistakes upon mistakes. So I’ve moved to WordPress where there seems to be much greater customer focus because….. “the customer is always right” (not wrong).

That managed to waste, if you like a few hours. So although Saturday was good in addressing a case of “Weekend Anxiety”, today wasn’t so good. Part of my “work on myself” for the year will be to accept that it’s okay to waste some time on the weekends when my work life is already quite busy. (The tune of Cats in Cradle springs to mind).

If only my social life could be as measured and metred as my work life. Some weekends I don’t have all that much organised, and others I’m so busy I could hardly scratch myself. Take the weekends of February 17 and 18, when I have four social invitations on the Sunday alone. It doesn’t rain, it pours. In all likelihood, I’ll get to only three, since I have to work (of sorts) on the Sunday morning. Still life’s like that, and in the meantime, I must repeat to myself, “I must overcome weekends anxiety”.

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