I think the value of the weekend is derived purely from the arduousness of the week… we wouldn’t scream TGIF if there weren’t M, T, W or T to speak of. I guess pleasure is necessarily rooted in pain.
But not all pain leads to pleasure – there’s the sort of unproductive pain, like feelings of inadequacy or despondence which induce passivity rather than activity. I don’t quite have it frequently but it crops up occasionally and makes you slump. Suddenly your hair stands on end as you realise that for every hour of studying/toil you’re putting in, someone out there can match you in half an hour or less. For every skill that you can profess to have, loads of people out there are twice as endowed.
(and even when you know you have superior skills it’s frustrating when you can’t translate that into anything – hence, your skills are for naught and are naught, as far as the world is concerned)
And then you realise that there are months ahead of you in this struggle, and after this one yet another, and after that one there’re a few more, and the infinity of bleakness disables you and it’s a wonder you still muster the ability to eventually snap out of your reverie, pick up your notes, find your place in the text and carry on where you left off.
(the thing is, there’re some emotions or thoughts that are strictly localised, ie. bound to the specific set of circumstances you’re in. You feel hot because you’re in a hot place; you don’t feel so once you leave it. But some things are independent of anything that happens to you, like a feeling of inadequacy. You could be standing on stage receiving a prestigious award yet still feel the critical gazes of the audience searing the back of your neck, like lasers.)