Last Monday was the first day of spring, which seems hard to believe given the negative temperatures and bare trees in Toronto this week. This, combined with the fact that there are no long weekends in March this year, has made it difficult to really, truly enjoy weekends. Sure, the days are getting longer, but it’s freezing and I can’t sit on a patio. Sure, I could stay home and binge-watch a Netflix series, but I want real, “thank goodness Monday is a holiday”-type R&R. What’s a girl to do?
Frigid, rainy weather be damned: with a little imagination, any weekend can become a long weekend, regardless of whether or not Monday is a work day. Here’s how I plan to spend my faux-long weekend:
1. Don’t schedule any annoying tasks this weekend.
Nothing on the books.
Maybe you have to pick up your dry cleaning or file your taxes. Maybe you usually do a grocery run for the entire week on Saturday mornings, which takes forever because the store is jam-packed at that time. Think: what can you do on Friday afternoon so that your Saturday is completely free? What can be scheduled for a night next week? Do yourself a favour: unless it’s urgent, keep your weekend schedule to the bare minimum. This will help you avoid a hangry rage spiral in a Costco checkout line at 11:45am.
2. Sleep in on Saturday morning.
We’re generally out of bed early on weekends because Shorty the cat demands breakfast at 6am. This weekend, I’m going to try something new: stashing his dish and dry food in my nightstand so I can feed him without having to move from a horizontal position, then go back to sleep for a few more hours. See if you can find a temporary solution for whatever forces you out of bed first thing on a weekend and enjoy the extra rest that you would otherwise get from an extra weekend day.
3. Make brunch at home.
The Toronto brunch scene is booming, and unless you thought of making a reservation earlier in the week, chances are that you and your friends will be left waiting for over an hour in the drizzling rain. Why not make brunch at home instead? You can keep it simple with pancakes and bacon, or try your hand at a more challenging dish (like my friend Caroline’s favourite Pinch of Yum recipe for Migas). I can’t wait to get my copy of Joy the Baker’s new brunch book, Over Easy: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Leisurely Days, so I can start planning my (long) weekend feast!
4. Explore a new part of town.
After the brunch crowds have dispersed, go wander around a new part of town with a friend (or a book). Pop into shops and boutiques, sit and read in a coffee shop, find a cool gallery exhibit, or go check out a cool bar you’ve seen on Instagram; doesn’t really matter what you do, the fun is in getting to know a previously-unfamiliar neighborhood. If you’re on a budget, give yourself a $20 maximum and enjoy being a tourist for a few hours.
5. Make someone else do the cooking (and cleaning) for Sunday dinner.
Confession time: even though I’m self-employed and set my own schedule, I don’t like Sunday evenings. I still get that sinking feeling of dread regardless of whether I have a Monday morning meeting or not. Spending Sunday night cooking dinner, meal prepping lunches, jigsawing everything into the fridge, and washing a mountain of dishes certainly doesn’t help. So just this once, take a break; go out for dinner on Sunday (it is a sort-of holiday after all!) and leave the meal prep to Monday night. Bonus points if you go to a new place you’ve been meaning to try.
Oh, and last but not least: when your coworkers ask about your weekend, don’t just say it was good and go back to your inbox. Give them some details! If you found something cool or ate something tasty, now’s the time to share; maybe they’ll even have some suggestions for you to try next time.
I hope you have the best two-day long weekend you’ve ever had. Let me know how yours went!