I have Thursday guilt.
You see, I don’t “work” on Thursdays, at least not officially, not at the clinic. In fact, I haven’t worked on Thursdays for many, many years. And at the clinic, we’ve built our practitioner schedule around that; on that day, my treatment rooms are free for the taking by other staff. Over the years, the clinic has grown into such a busy place that we’re bursting at the seams, and the reality is that we’re now at a point where I wouldn’t be able to work on Thursdays even if I wanted to, because my rooms are full with other practitioner’s patients.
When my daughter began full-time Kindergarten in 2016, joining her older brother in the all-day-school world, I envisioned lazy Thursdays of long runs and naps, hot coffee and newspapers. Fast forward more than two years and I think I’ve taken a nap once. Once in about 112 Thursdays. Because the reality is, Thursdays are usually my busiest day of the week. They’re the days that I get groceries, tidy the house, squeeze in appointments for myself, run errands, arrange coffee dates, and do all the things that my other days do not allow; they’re the days that I do life.
But inevitably, when a patient asks to book in on a Thursday, and I reply that “I don’t work Thursdays,” guilt nags at me. I’m a people-pleaser, by nature or nurture, and it niggles at my brain when I can’t be all things to all people. A character fault for sure, and one that I’m working on, but part of me wonders what they think when they hear that my work-week doesn’t include a traditional Thursday. Now, logic will tell you (and me) that I work more evenings than the traditional work-week and more Saturdays than the traditional work-week, but logic doesn’t always win. Logic will also point out that I have very carefully constructed my practice life to align with my values, and Thursdays off have given me the space to find balance for both myself and my family. But again, logic can be easily strong-armed by guilt.
Is guilt a mom thing? A female thing? Or just a me thing? Perhaps it’s a bit of all three, rolled up and exponentially powerful, a wasted emotion that has no positive value.
Do I work Thursdays?
I sure do.
(And even if I didn’t, that would be okay too.)