At the time of this writing, I’m sitting here, grounded in time, in the middle of Friday night.
I’m present. In this moment. I am rarely present. Friday nights make it easier to be present. I am enjoying this rare moment. As much as it is possible for me to enjoy anything.
Friday night is as good as it gets. No work tomorrow. No special time I have to get up. I have errands to run, but there is flexibility. Right now, nothing is required. I’m as far away from Monday morning as I can get. The demands of tomorrow are distant. And easy to carry because of the distance.
This is why I like Friday night. It’s one of the few times I can actually live in the moment. Without dread. Without having to worry about the moment that comes next. Or the one that comes after that. Without having to prepare myself for what’s barreling down on me.
I have to prepare myself to go to work. It takes a lot of emotional energy and brain power. I must perform. Meet standards. Add value. A lot is required. Perfection is demanded. I’m not good at perfection. I do my best…all that I can do. But I always seem to fall a little short. Or a lot short, actually. All I have to give never seems to be enough. All I am never seems to be enough.
In a cruel twist of fate, I have to prepare myself to an even greater extent for social events or family interactions. Those family interactions are especially difficult because I never feel like I’m worthy. I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing or do something unacceptable. That I’ll fail to meet everyone’s expectations. It takes everything I have to keep my protective shield in place and my guard up. To keep myself in check. I’m totally drained when it’s over and I always find myself dreading the next encounter. I never quite fit in. I feel the isolation. I feel as if I’m walking on egg shells. And crushing too many eggs.
On Friday night, for the most part, or at least in a small way, I can ignore all that. I can sit on the couch with my dogs and my laptop and let my shoulders relax. I don’t have to be perfect on a Friday night. My dogs seem to think I’m perfect in spite of all my flaws and that’s all that matters right now. I don’t have to perform. I don’t have to worry about how many eggs I crush. I can just breathe. Simply breathe. And be. Maybe even drink some wine. Maybe even be imperfect. Flawed. At least tonight.
That’s why I like Friday night. Not because it’s a party night. Not because it’s time to go out with friends, laughing, eating, drinking too much, socializing. Not because it’s a night of events, outings, wildness, craziness. Because it’s not any of these things. It’s a night of nothingness. No demands. No pressure. No expectations. I can let down the walls. I can sit and do…nothing. Be nothing. Nothing is required.
Sometimes, it’s nice to not have any demands on you; on your time. To just be.
It is very hard for me to be present. Being present is…painful.
Being present means facing some unpleasant facts. A less than desirable reality. But it also means not having to do anything except existing right where I am, right at this instant. No worrying about tomorrow. No dealing with what that unpleasant reality means. Or what it requires of me. I can put performing off until the next day. Or the day after that.
And so I sit, my dogs on my lap breathing heavily, resting securely in my love, knowing I will watch over them. No one has ever watched over me. But I will protect them with my dying breath. They know this. They know I am here for them no matter what. They know they have value. They know they mean everything to me. They know they are my world.
My world is small. It is almost empty. It tends to be dark and harsh. But on Friday night, I can forget all of that. I can push it aside. I can simply sit here and let the seconds slide by without anything being required of me.
I’ll worry about everything I’m missing, everything I have lost, everything that is slipping through my fingers…I’ll worry about all of that tomorrow. I’ll worry about what I have to do, what I must accomplish, in the morning. Tonight, I will just sit here. And let the moment swallow me whole. Take me away.
Tonight, I’ll simply enjoy Friday night. The one night of the week that demands nothing from me. The one night of the week I can stop trying so hard to be what everyone wants me to be. On Friday night, I’ll just be…me. Lacking. Unwanted. Flawed. But on Friday night, I can just…be. I can just…be…me…
And Friday night is the only night when that is good enough.