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.


MOD said...

Nice posts Cornbread, we're on the same track. It's not that we're under payed, it's that we're over expensed. I'm currently about half way through an excellent book, How to Live Well without Owning a Car.

The average american spends $750 a month on each vehicle. Dump that money into savings or spend it on your quality of life and we're sitting pretty. All of a sudden you can live in a nicer home, that's closer to your work, in a nicer 'hood, and can probably work less, travel more and retire early.

You can rent a car for weekend trips and still be thousands of dollars ahead. Use public transit on days with really bad weather.

Only a few of us have figured out that living in the 'burbs is self destructive behavior.

Enjoy your 4 day weeks my friend...enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Well put.

MG said...

Nice... I agree. I have committed to changing my own work situation for the better very soon. The wheels are already turning in fact.

Good for you for making positive changes in your life Cornbread. Thanks for the reminder that it can and should happen.

CJ said...

Yup...nice post. I have to agree with the whole less work thing. I work 26 weekends per year right now, and that alone is part of my motivation to persue another degree. It is nice having time off during the week, but telling your family that you won't be at the gathering because of your work schedule gets old after a while.

I think living care free is the ultimate in saving money. A little more realistic goal would be living car payment free. Fix that 5 year old car instead of trading it in for another payment. And really sit down and think hard about buying the bigger model. Do you really need more room, or are you just trying to keep up with the neighbors.

Cornbread: I was at your place of work yesterday. It was very nice. A very nice establishment for sure. Top quality equipment and care.

Peace out

CJ said...

That is supposed to say "living car free". oops.

MOD said...

Beware of old cars too. The actual car payment is only a fraction of the cost to use and maintain one. Plus, older cars have significantly more repair costs. It might only be marginally less expense to have an old car versus a new one.

MOD said...

This will bum you out. Check out this link at Edmunds.com


It's there True Cost to Own calculator. The used car portion only goes back 5 years, but I did my 2001 Passat as a 2003. Over a 5 year period they estimate that owning that car will cost me $32,000. That's excluding the price of the vehicle and a host of other expenses. Right now the car is appraised at $9,000. So, $41,000 to operate that car for five years and after it's all said and donen the vehicle will be worth $4,000 if I want to sell it. fun...

Cornbread said...

Great conversation everyone! Hopefully in a hundred years, people will wonder why so many folks wasted a significant percentage of their wages on a transportation system that utilized a limited energy source and was detrimental on so many levels.

Chris, glad you enjoyed your time at NHI. Did you learn so cool stuff? Let me know if you have any questions. Are you stopping by again anytime soon? If so, stop on by research and for a cup of coffee.

Damn, Mod, that calculator is some scary shite. Glad to hear we're on the same page with regards to the work life. I know most people would like to be there too, but families, etc mandate a full time work life. I'm not there now, but may have to be a full time worker again someday. I'm just enjoying the time I have now and wish more people had the same opportunity that we have. It'd probably catch on like a wild fire and soon the whole U.S. of A. would be a much more healthy and happy place.

Matt, hope things work out for ya. Whatever it is you're pursuing.

Neve_r_est said...

Right on Cornbread!

As an additional note, if you have the knowledge and tools to do your own maintainence and repairs, buying new will never be cheaper. This applies to everything, not just cars. Prolly one of the most effective steps toward self sufficiency and lowering global footprint, knowledge.

..thanking my family heritage for bringing me up with the knowledge to fix my own stuff...

Some day I'm gonna figure out how to do my 23mile four lane commute in the streamliner at full speed. Or even better, change my job situation to eliminate the need for driving.

Man, that's alot of change from my current situation. But it's a dreamy thought:)


Paul said...

Awesome post! This is a lesson I learned years ago and for the first time in many years I am having to disobey that lesson. Since I have a new boss I now am having to teach him the ropes. Yes, you heard that right. My work hours are insane and that has made a huge impact on my desire to get even less sleep in order to ride. That is an excuse, but it is a very real feeling.

Keep things simple.

Cornbread said...

Dang Paul. Hang in there buddy. It can't be any worse than a pickup truck full of drunken teenagers threatening to kick your arss in the middle of the night on a lonely Kansas gravel road while finishing a 200 mile race. Or can it? :)

Emily said...

funkin a, corey. i think our brains need to actively daydream as much as they need rem sleep.