Every Wednesday, I permit myself to have a day/half a day off to do anything that I want, as long as it’s creative. This policy came from more than a year ago when I was my own boss, and I realised that I hated my boss. The exploitative bitch would not let me rest during weekends, yelled at me all the time, and didn’t even pay me well.

The bitch and I had a conversation, and I told her that I would quit if she kept at it. I would find another boss, and she could get another minion. She gave me a long, steely stare. I stared back. Then, with a sigh, she asked me how she could improve my working conditions.

Wildcard Wednesday was then born. I could work my ass off every other day of the week, even weekends if I really had no choice, but Wednesdays were dedicated to gleeful creation and play. No work was allowed on Wednesdays, even though sometimes I sneaked an hour or two in (but never more than that). In the place of work, I made new dishes from scratch, played with my Snap Circuit renewable energy circuit board, and tinkered with random projects. I read books for leisure, doodled, and daydreamed.

It was really quite pleasant. My productivity went up during other days of the week. I gained some self-respect and balance. The inner bitch and I were friends again.

(As an aside, Wildcard Wednesdays drew inspiration from Awesome Mondays, devised by Eva and I when I was doing my PhD in Singapore. I always worked weekends, but on Mondays we would get a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers, and whisk ourselves to a beach on Sentosa Island. We would set up our picnic on our matching sarongs, swim and laze around, get progressively tipsy, and then beat up coconut trees with beach towels. With all the vengeance directed at disappointing lovers, rejected publications, and a persisting fear of never amounting to anything important in life. Ah, Awesome Mondays.)

Wildcard Wednesday was shelved when I moved back into employment last year. Fast forward to this January, I left my job and am now my own boss again (at least until someone else pays for my time). I’m looking for research work, writing proposals for possible funding, and reading as much as I can. This time around, I’m not as crabby as before, since a year’s detour into coordination and communication work served to confirm that I am really, ultimately, a researcher at heart, and that’s where I want to work and play. The inner bitch is much less bitchy, and the reluctant employee, much less reluctant.

And, Wildcard Wednesday is back. The last few Wednesdays I had spent drawing mind maps of chapters in Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Today I spent some of it reading up literature on resilience and systems thinking (ok this is kinda work), but I am also taking some time to write and to think. I’m looking forward to trying out a new recipe tonight, I haven’t decided on what. When I close this post, I’ll start browsing recipes.

It’s a day like any other, but I have a glint in my eye, a smirk on my face. I’m inviting inspiration fairies to come plant ideas of mischief. The evening is still young. What shall we do, if we can do anything?