Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I love having days off during the week
The way I see it, we Americans have our priorities all mixed up. All work and no play except on the weekends if we're not too tired from the work week. That's how my folks lived their lives and my Mom continues to live her life. She has worked two jobs for the past ten years, one full time and another part time in the evenings. It breaks my heart to see her do it, but she feels guilty if she doesn't.
My folks taught me many indirect life lessons. They both worked hard jobs (Dad worked at a die casting factory for 35 years) that they really didn't enjoy. I learned at a young age that I didn't want to live like my folks in regards to my professional career.
Why spend 70% of my time working? If you sit down and put pen to paper, most Americans spend a majority of their life working. And I'm sure most people don't live to work. They work because they have debt or want to provide for their family. To put it plainly, we're wage slaves. Our work-life balance has up ended itself.
Luckily, I really enjoy my job, but I've decided not to live that way. My career has stalled as a result, but I live to enjoy life and not work a majority of it. The medical school dream has been replaced with bicycle adventures with my friends. Not a bad trade in my opinion.
So what can we do? Well, the Europeans have it figured out. Work weeks are anywhere from 34 to 36 hours a week, but shorter days are just a start. How about 4 days a week? Trust me, it's awesome.