According to widespread reports, most people look forward to taking two days off at the end of the week. Not everyone does, though. These are their stories.
Humanity loves weekends for a variety of reasons. Topping the list: Sleeping in, unstructured free time, and a higher chance of leisure, extra-curricular activities, and social encounters with friends and family.
But not everyone is a fan of weekends. Although I was unable to locate any published research or studies on the percentage of people who dislike weekends, I recently interviewed over two dozen Americans who self-identify from that group. This is what I learned.
Work is the biggest reason
The vast majority of people I spoke to—well more than half—blamed an obsession with work as the reason for hating weekends. Most claimed to be self-prescribed “workaholics” and didn’t like to see their progress slow to a crawl for a couple of days while the rest of the world checked out and remained largely unreachable.
“I’ve always felt that people use weekends as an excuse to be lazy,” says Hope Alcocer, an “overly caffeinated” marketer from Chicago. “Your motivation and momentum is stunted as you hold your breath and wait until Monday. I understand the need for work-life balance, but I’m unsure who decided that two full days is required for such a thing.”
Milana Perepyolkina, a therapist from Salt Lake City, cites an aspirational lack of purpose when she’s not working. “During weekends I don’t feel like I’m making the world a better place,” she says. “The only way to change my displeasure of weekends would be to fill them with appointments with people in need of help,” which is difficult to do, she adds, because most of her patients don’t want to see doctors on weekends.
In general, the temporary idleness or lull of the weekend is distressing for some. “I don’t like to be bored, and I find myself getting bored on the weekends with too much free time on my hands,” says Beth McRae, a publicist from Phoenix. “Weekends just feel less productive,” adds Amanda Lauren, a freelancer from Los Angeles. “That stresses me out and then I feel really guilty about not working.”
Time-shifting is real
Although it’s easy to forget as most of us work Monday through Friday, a significant number of people are forced to work weekends, or at least more so than weekdays, so they prefer the latter to the former. “I don’t like weekends, because that’s when I work and when most of my shows are,” says Dan Nainan, a comedian from New York City. “I have to get on a plane and fly, and while traveling I’m also tempted to eat bad food and avoid exercise.” What Nainan likes most about weekdays is ”being home, eating right, and working out.”
Tobi Kosanke, who owns a non-profit animal sanctuary in Texas also says “ugh” to both Saturdays and Sundays. “On weekends I have to wake up early to care for all of the animals,” he says. “Although I sometimes enjoy the rewarding work, it’s also very stressful, since I’m usually shorthanded on volunteers those days.” Bearing the brunt of work alone is never any fun.
Emily Lyons, CEO of an event staffing company with more than 7000 employees also bemoans weekends as that’s her busy time—her de facto weekdays, if you will. “I always have to be on call,” she says. “It’s a catch-22, because I’d like to have weekends off, but that would mean we weren’t doing well as a company.”
Same goes for parents of young children, which historically tend to be more demanding on the weekends. “I go to work to relax in the company of adults,” says Marina Sheehan, an editor from Chicago. “The needing and nagging are less at work, and you can actually spend a few hours alone, by yourself, here and there.”
Overcrowding is annoying
Second only to work-related issues, weekend haters cite an increased number of people as a big weekend deterrent, most notably the longer lines, unexpected traffic, and the often higher priced food and events associated with them.
“I personally don’t like weekends because of the crowds,” says Vanessa Valiente, a stylist from San Diego. “The mall, the zoo, the beach, hiking trails, theaters, and bars are too crowded for me to enjoy. That adds more pressure since I feel I have to hurry up and have fun before it’s over.”
In addition to navigating more crowds, graphic designer Karla Singson notes that there are fewer city services and open facilities (such as banks), which makes it more difficult to complete one-off personal business on the weekend. “So I have to wait until Monday to complete the task, which is frustrating.”
Kaila Yu, a travel writer from Los Angeles, says the weekend traffic at airports and tourist sites can be crippling. “They are the worst times to see a new place,” she says, before catching herself: “I probably need to get some work-life balance and stop being so obsessed with work.”
You can love both
One young woman named Juhl Kore from Tampa didn’t like weekends because she felt they were an excuse, if not reason, for enduring an otherwise unbearable workweek. “I absolutely hate that some people are always looking forward to the weekend so they can get away from their regular life,” she says. “I am a big believer in pursuing everyday meaning, and I constantly preach the importance of making Monday your favorite day of the week.”
While Kore’s advice is certainly applicable to my neighbor who seemingly lives for the weekend while having worked a job he verbally despises for more than 20 years, looking forward to both weekdays and weekends—however you define them—is not only possible, it’s highly recommended.
For the last 15 years, I’ve worked a job that feels more like a “calling” than actual work. With exception to the bookkeeping or stern conversations I’m forced to have on occasion, I genuinely enjoy my work as a writer. I look forward to Mondays as much as I do any other day of the week—weekends very much included.
So if we take everyday for what it’s worth, while also pursuing fulfilling occupations, our appreciation and anticipation for weekdays or weekends doesn’t have to be either/or. With the right choices and perspective, we can enjoy both.
That said—is it Friday yet? ●
Blake Snow writes for fancy publications and Fortune 500 companies as a seasoned writer-for-hire and best-selling author. He lives in Provo, Utah with his loving family and loyal dog.