July 4th this year is, as you may have observed, mid-week. The mid-week federal holiday is a toughie, because 1) it’s not clear if you “should” be taking the Monday-Tuesday or the Thursday-Friday block for vacation time 2) it’s not clear who you can fake out to insist you’ll be at the office when actually you’ll be watching Independence Day over and over on AMC. And 3) it’s totally unclear what you’re supposed to be doing to celebrate the holiday if you have to remain in-office due to some insane unspoken rule. Unspoken rule-followers, you know who you are.
So before you go thinking that a 4th of July spent in-office has to absolutely suck, here are a few things that you can do to stay your misery and even have a little fun:
- DON’T Facebook. Facebook is the mind killer. Devote your day to non-Facebook pursuits. Otherwise you’re going to walk away from your office feeling like you’ve shamed good ol’ George Washington. Because you will have. If you’re going to waste time, waste it on Lumosity. At least Lumosity (ostensibly) sharpens your brainiac skills (read: it’ll sharpen your spatial acuity a la Duck Hunt).
- Wikipedia. Ever heard of the Carolingian dynasty? They were some of the original players in the common era’s Game of Thrones. And they’re just so much more interesting than the Brady Bunch. Check out Wikipedia for a list of the most hilarious Carolingian-name-turned-potential-TV-show-names you’ve ever heard, especially: Arnulf of Metz (“Hey, Arnulf,” anyone?), Pippin the Middle (“Pippin in the Middle”), and Grimoald II (“Grimoald: Impossible II”).
- Calculate how much extra time you’re spending working this year. Feel comforted by the thought of escaping the Busy Trap. Consider how much of your life you lose to work that you don’t have to.
- Read up on Thought Catalog. Hint: best pieces from Thought Catalog are The 5 Pillars of Being a 20-Something, The Complete Guide to Having Feelings, All the Highs That Are Better Than Runner’s High, 50 Things That Should Be Relationship Dealbreakers.
- Really stuck behind an Excel spreadsheet all day instead of celebrating our nation’s independence? Listen to the most recent This American Life on NPR. This last one is on Cindy Sherman and pretending to be people you’re not.
- Shop your face off. There are plenty of online sales-if you’re in the mood for clothes, hit up Zara or Nordstrom’s summer sales (warning: Nordy’s Anniversary Sale doesn’t start til July 20th); if you’re in a more grill-dream mode, Sears has a July 4th sale worth noticing.
- Sneak out for a 2-hour liquid-enhanced lunch. Let’s face it: if you’re at work on July 4th, things are not going well for you. Hopefully at least things are going well enough for your company that your superiors will be off at some sunny-day grill and BBQ-festival. So you might as well live up the solitude.
- Secret Hulu Warrior: Yes, you love Hulu. No, nothing is really good on TV this summer. But check out our favorites: Colbert, Jon Stewart, and New Girl. Or turn to old faithful Once Upon a Time. Just make sure to hide your screen from your coworkers.
- Don’t just sit there reading HuffPo. Take a hint from Military.com and do some office-friendly exercises (our favorite: the assisted push-up). Or amuse yourself (and keep on the “Hulu Warrior” path) with The Situation’s Workout.
- Hit up the Random Internet Generator: play with StumbleUpon and Wikipedia’s Random Article feature. It’s amazing what the Internet knows that you don’t… yet.
- Plan a totally and completely hypothetical vacation using Superfly.com, the totally rad travel site for frequent fliers. It’s super smart about your existing loyalty status, so you’ll get screwed a lot less than you will with other travel search sites.
- Find your next boyfriend.
- Does your company offer online tutorials? Or publish white papers? Now is a good time to make good on all of those promises you made yourself to invest in your professional development-even if it means that you end up sitting through an hour or two of boring Excel lectures (but trust us– they’re totally worth it)
- Call your mom.
- Pretty, pretty pictures: check out The Economist’s latest Graphic Detail, XKCD’s latest cartoon, and sign up for Scott Adams’ Daily Dilbert cartoon (let’s be honest-Scott phones it in a lot these days, but it’s still pretty entertaining).