Tom and I can say "TGIF!" with very different ideas of what that might look like especially as Friday unfolds into Saturday and Sunday. I need the weekend to get caught up on stuff and slip in a good workout to make up for slack time during the week. If I approach the weekend with the attitude "I am the only one that gets anything done around here" and paint Tom as "Mr Slouch" it is pretty unlikely he will enjoy pitching in to help.
For Mary Frances and me the magical key to unlocking our individual agendas starts with a question like "How would I like to spend this weekend?" or " What are my hopes for this weekend?" We both need Friday to unwind, a simple dinner and a glass of wine, a movie night -- anything to recharge. I don't mind the necessary work of the weekend. In fact, I like getting stuff done, especially doing it together. We have found that a loving conversation before our heads hit the pillow about our expectations for the rest of the weekend is KEY. For me, work needs to be balanced by relaxation, a nice long walk, or a lazy Saturday morning catching up over coffee.
Rattling off a to-do list puts ugly expectations on Tom and can ruin a perfectly good weekend. Friday evening down time sets the tone for both of us. We are honest with our feelings and desires, listening to each other's hopes, even though they may be drastically different from our own. I carefully frame my words so I do not manipulate or judge Tom. Saying "You didn't . . ." or bringing up undone chores is not a good way to start this discussion. We both work to make sure the focus is on US and not just our weekend.
When Mary Frances and I formulate a plan together with each other's needs at heart we wake up Saturday morning with a TEAM focus. We can shop together, or give each other needed "Me Time." We can work together and even make a game of pulling the weed with the longest root in the area that will soon produce luscious tomatoes. Mary Frances understands that I need balance and celebrating that spruced up garage with some romance can turn a good weekend into a GREAT weekend. We wake up Monday morning re-charged and ready for anything the world can throw at us.