A Brand New Day, Part 4

A Brand New Day, Part 4:
                Yorday – a new day to be placed between Saturday and Sunday. A true day of rest, recuperation, relaxation and reflection.
                The reasoning for creating our new day is sound – weekdays are for work. For some of us, weekends are for work too. Saturday is for catching up on the shopping, laundry and other work that we can’t do on weekdays. Most of the time this bleeds into Sunday too (throw in the church-going for the religious types and there goes Sunday). And somewhere along the way we need to make time for fun.
                So we have Yorday, named after you and Uranus, in which to relax and take easy.
                The rules are simple: do whatever you wish to do that day as long as it does not interfere with the rest, recuperation, relaxation and reflection of others. This means get your grill-out ready, fill your gas tank and/or get your supplies the day before. Don’t eat out on Yorday – a waitress and a chef will have to work. Don’t go to a movie – ticket operator and projectionist will have to work. Don’t go to a ball game – millionaires will have to entertain you while earning one-hundredth of what they make, not counting the concession workers who will have to do real work.
                Get a group of friends together to play games at a table or sports in your back yard. Get some fellow musicians together and play in a park. Sleep in. Vow not to shave or shower. Read a book. Write a book.  Rest.
                Fundamentalists (who are usually anything but fun), be at ease. “You can’t take away Sunday!” It is THE day of rest! The day we dedicate to the Lord!”  No one is saying you can’t dedicate Sunday to the Lord. No one is saying you can’t dedicate Yorday to the Lord. What I am saying is that Sunday is not really the day of rest. Not anymore, that is. Even as (not-very-much-fun) fundamentalist, your Sunday can hardly be restful. Up at dawn, to church early, stay until well past noon, prayer lunch, group meetings, evening services, more prayer.  You are probably more in need of a true day of rest than most of us.
                Yorday will have its problems that will need to be ironed out. What if I have a heart attack while playing catch football? What if I break my leg? Or someone else’s leg?  “Thank you for calling 9-1-1. It’s Yorday, so no one is available to take your call. Please leave a message.”
                With no one working, the Emergency Room will be closed. The radio station will be silent, as there will be no one there to mind the satellite feed (hmm, come to think of it, that one’s not such a bad thing…), there will be no television programming for similar reasons (and that’s not such a bad thing either …).
                Some services will HAVE to be active on Yorday. Police, infrastructure, medical.
                Perhaps those jobs can be worked volunteer only. Whosoever worketh on Yorday will get a special day off later in the week and/or get extra pay. Perhaps the pay received will not be considered as taxable income (there’s an incentive to volunteer)…
                So there we have it. Yorday.
                How do we begin? Small and slow – otherwise it will be chaos and that would be anathema to Yorday. Start with yourself. Declare one day next month as your Yorday. Then get your family to join in another Yorday later in the year. Then some friends.
                Can you see it happening? Some town will declare Yorday. Then the next year the neighboring towns, then a city. Then a state. After a decade or so, the nation. Then the world.
                The people of earth dedicating one day to rest, recuperation, relaxation and reflection.  This is Yorday. Enjoy it.
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A Brand New Day, Part 3

A Brand New Day, Part 3:                                                                          What shall we call it?
                A new day has been created – to be placed between Saturday and Sunday. A true day of             rest, recuperation, relaxation and reflection. We’ve radically restructured the calendar for the first time in nearly half a millennium to make access for our day.
                But what shall we call it?
                Days have been named since there have been people to name them. Babylon named their days based on the phases of the moon. Ancient Greeks and Romans named them after their gods.
                Some of the origins of our days’ names are obvious and some not. Here’s the break-down: the sun, the moon, Tyr (really? I thought it was named after Zeus), Odin/Wotan, Thor, Freya or Frigg and Saturn in that order. A nice mix of natural bodies, German/Norse and Roman gods.
                Should we name our new day after a cosmic body?  Venus or Mars? Marsday sounds good. The ancient Romans and Greeks named Tuesday after Mars, so there is a precedent. Likewise they named what we call Friday after Venus or Aphrodite. The trifecta of sun, moon and stars would give us Starsday. Starsday?  That sounds better! And it fits in between Saturday and Sunday. Say it out loud – Saturday, Starsday, Sunday. Nice!  That goes on the list.
                Perhaps we can go back to the Norse gods.  Heimday?  Sifday? Baldurday (balderdash)?  Hmm, maybe the Norse mythos has been mined for all it’s worth.
                The days of the week were named more for the similar Teutonic gods than the similar Norse. Donar, Irmin, Ostara, Rind; none of these seem to make good days. I like Njorday, though.
                OK then, any Greek gods we can use to name our day? Poseiday? Heraday (sounds like a vitamin supplement)? Apolday?  These do not seem to work. Hestia?  Hestday? Hesterday? Nothing seems to be working here.
                Roman, then. Trouble is, most of the Roman gods are already named after the planets – we have already sounded out Marsday and Venusday. Jupiterday? Or shortened to Juday? Oh, no, no…
                Neptday?
                Uranus?  Would you like to have a day named after Uranus? I certainly would. Wouldn’t most people like to have a day named after their anus?  Don’t give me this “it’s pronounced YER’-uh-nus”. No it’s NOT! It’s “Yer-ANUS”. Learn to live with Yer-ANUS.  You don’t have to love Yer-ANUS, but you must accept Yer-ANUS.  Face facts. Face Uranus.  It’s the only one you’ve got!
                Stick with me through this stream-of-consciousness here… Uranusday.  Urday.  Yourday. This is your day.  Hey, that kind of fits. Don’t like the spelling though. Yorday. Re-spelling and re-figuring the days are traditional (Tuesday from Tyr, Wednesday from Wotan, and when was the last time you looked up and howled at the full Mon?).  Yorday, like days of yore…
                That settles that! Yorday! Happy Yorday! Enjoy Yorday!
                Next: All is not well…

A Brand New Day, Part 2

A Brand New Day, Part 2
Finding the Time
                Monday through Friday is for working. Saturday is for working too, for some. For others it is a day to catch up on errands inside and outside the house. Sunday is for working, catching up on errands and/or getting up at nearly the same time as the work week to go worship. Some churches take all day with their fellowship meetings and evening services.
                And let’s not forget Saturday night worship is not just for Hebrews and Catholics anymore. Some churches – even Protestant churches – have Saturday night services, and Friday services.  Wednesday services are traditional, but there’s another evening spending time worshipping when I need to be vacuuming the basement rug!
                That’s not to poo-poo those who feel the need for worship outweighs the need to vacuum. “My God is more important to me than my rugs!” I can respect that. I will never take off my shoes in your house, but I can respect that. But you see my point about the lack of time.  Remember this day is for rest, recuperation, relaxation and reflection.
                Where do we put this new day? I suggest between Saturday and Sunday.  This way we won’t break up anyone’s work week. Saturday can be used to prepare ourselves for the new day – get all the shopping done, fill up the gas tank, etc. So the next day can be totally about rest, recuperation, relaxation and reflection.  Then back up early for Sunday.
                This would give us eight days in a week. Beatles homage aside, how will that affect our calendar?  Stay with me on this as I crunch the numbers.
                Eight days will get us 45 weeks with 5 days left over. This does not count what we not call leap year – when we would have 6 days left over. This would give us 3 months with 3 weeks and 9 months with 4 weeks.
                This is assuming we do not do away with 12-month years. I have no preference there – I’ll let whatever conference or committee in charge of this new calendar make that decision.
                What about the extra five days?  Those can be free days attached to the calendar. We can have one day for a seasonal celebration – going back to our pagan roots here.  A spring vacation day (we can still call it Easter), a summer (we can use that for July 4th – we can still observe the specific day too), autumn (where we can place Halloween – it has long since lost any vestige of its being on a specific date), or Fall Festival or whatever the scaredy-cats decide to call it) and winter (which we can set for Christmas or whatever you want to call it – a rant for another day — “I’ll start saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays when you start calling it Halloween instead of Fall Festival”).
                The fifth day can be used for a New Year’s celebration. These won’t be days of rest as proposed – if businesses, theaters, restaurants, etc. want to be open those days that is their decision.  It won’t affect the proposed eighth day.
                Not that it hasn’t been done before.  In 1582 some of the world switched to the Gregorian calendar from the Julian calendar. This reduced the calendar by 10 minutes; and the Gregorian calendar adds three more days every four centuries.
                This is why your Orthodox friends show up on January 7th for Christmas dinner. After 400+ years, some of the Julian calendar dates are still being observed.
                There are 365.2425 days in a year. Adding a day to the calendar will result in a 0.65+ overage. This means that every third year we will have to add two days to the calendar. Sort of a leap-year plus. We can add these days to two of the three months that only have three weeks in them. And then every one hundred years we’ll have to subtract four days to keep the calendar in balance – otherwise eventually December will be a summer month. Perhaps we can subtract a day in each year ending in 25. Or we can add one other day every 30 years then yet another day every 100 years. There – 365.2425. Simple, no? (Rhetorical…)
                It makes as much sense as what we have now – 2000 was a leap year, but 1900 was not! Did you know that?
                This whole thing is a math nerd’s wet dream, I grant you, but the point is – it’s been done before, we can do it again! As said in Part 1, it might not be in our lifetime, but we can get in this extra day!
Next: What will we call our new day?

A Brand New Day, Part 1

A Brand New Day, Part 1
                When did Sunday stop being a day of rest?  We used to attend a church that had small group meetings in the late afternoon and early evenings. They called it fellowship, I called it more church. Except we had to also bring food enough for fifteen people.
                On a typical Sunday we would get up, bathe, go to church, go to lunch, get home, get ready for the small group meeting (which meant cooking something), go to the small group meeting and finally get back home just in time to go to bed.
                We don’t go to that church anymore. Not because of the hectic Sundays it created; it was because they started telling us how to vote and the junior minister told the congregation that I, specifically, was just going through the motions and did not really have Christ in my heart.  But that is a rant for another day…
                Needless to say we ran from that political cult.  Rest assured it did not start that way, but soured slowly. Unlike frogs in boiling water, I realized what was happening and wanted out. Not-so-oddly my wife and I came to the same decision about the same time. Mine was after the minister said what he said about me. My wife came home from their Wednesday service three days after the insult and said, “We’re not going to that church anymore.”
                “Well, you’ve just save us a BIG argument next Sunday morning…” I said. We found a much better and more Christian church.  But that is another rant for another day…
                This should have freed-up our Sunday afternoons and evenings. But like any hole it got filled. At that time both of us work on most Saturdays, so Sunday meant catching up the shopping and errands we couldn’t do during the week.
                Then we had the baby. Our weekends are back to being filled again. One of us shops while the baby naps (afternoon) or sleeps (evenings). As she gets older … who knows what the future holds? When she gets too old for a nap (foolish child – naps are precious!), she’ll be old enough to help with the chores; or at least self-entertain so WE can get the chores done!
                But it’s not just us – the lack of time is pandemic.  Since Sunday has morphed into a Day-We-Get-Done-Things-We-Can’t-Get-Done-the-Rest-of-the-Week day, we need another day of rest, recuperation, relaxation and reflection.
                We cannot use an existing day. The weekdays are for working – the days for which we need a day of rest. Saturday is out.  That’s the day for which we need a day of recuperation. And some of us work on Saturdays, too.
                We need a brand new day. A true day of rest. A day in which no work is done.  A day in which we do not force others to work.
                The day would take some preparation – you would have to buy your food or fill up your gas tank the day before. Remember, we do not force others to work. Eating out? No, you’d force some waiter/waitress and a cook to work on your day of rest. It would be a day to grill outside, or cook together as a family at home. Or cook a frozen pizza and sit in your favorite chair and catch up on all those recorded TV shows you never get around to watching.
                Camp out. Stay inside. Lay a blanket on the grass and read a book. Stay home and play with your child. Relax.  Mellow. Chill.
                “Don’t give me that hippie crap,” you snarl, “I’ve got trains to catch and bills to pay!”
                Our new day of rest will take some time.  It will take the changing of mind-sets. We may not see it in our lifetimes; this will be for the benefit of future generations. But we can begin now. If not one day a week, maybe one day per season, or one day per month. C’mon, if we can add an extra day every four years, we can add more! (I know, I know, we have leap day because of the rotation of the earth is slightly more than 24 hours; but it just proves we can add days to our calendar. As quoted in the Yardbirds song “Glimpse”: “time is just a human limit, which with one glimpse, can overcome.”  There I go with that hippie crap again…)
                My next few blogs will discuss how we can make room in the calendar for the day, names for the day and some logistical problems with our day.
                But our brand new day starts now!

Next: Finding the time …