When Monday arrives, for some this is a cause for consternation. The way weeks are societally constructed at the moment means Monday to Friday are work days, and Saturday and Sunday are not. Recently several friends have lamented this fact in a way which makes “surviving” seem like what getting to Saturday is, and the all too familiar lead-in to another five day long grind is the only purpose Sunday serves. When we are solely focussed on surviving it is difficult to believe even in the possibility of thriving. Monday need not be only what the work week stubbornly promises. Sunday is to be enjoyed and not simply spent taking deep breaths while hoping for the best.
Searching for a job where I work part-time hours was a choice. I weighed up the option of earning a lower income against having whole days to write music and record music, and write fantasy fiction and poetry. It was not a difficult decision when I thought about it objectively. I love writing and playing music and want to share these gifts with the world, and working fewer hours in what we might see as a “conventional” job allows me the time to do that.
Though I theoretically have more time available to do the things I enjoy I sometimes still suffer from the crippling psychology of my brain telling me “I want to be doing anything but what I’m doing right now.” This includes when I am at work, playing guitar and singing, writing as yet unpublished books, reading the bible, spending time with friends, and playing ultimate. It is an odd phenomenon to objectively know you love doing something, or maybe in the case of work need to do something, and have a part of you that feels uncontrollable sabotage your efforts. Sometimes this means putting up with where we are at, especially when it comes to our work environment because it’s the way things have been for a long time. We earn enough to be comfortable. We have leave we can use for holidays. We have evenings and weekends to work on our projects. Remember, no one is a better you than you, so change where you are at if you believe change is needed.
I realise some people can work fewer hours in their current job. I realise some people are lucky enough to have different jobs available to them in their fields of expertise where they will work fewer hours. I realise some people can grow a business of their own, to control the amount of hours worked. I also know that for others this is not option because of essential financial requirements for themselves and their family.
If we are able to work fewer hours it may not be a comfortable choice to make because common social perception and pressure push for working the better part of forty hours a week (or, at more risk to personal wellbeing, more than that.) Some jobs seem to have more value or status, and as such seem more attractive.
If we are suffering from conditions at work we owe it to ourselves to search for a solution. Communicate with those around us at work, at home, at church, with our sports team, in our houses. In some cases the solution will not be a simple one. It is more than likely there are others who have had similar thoughts about their work environment. Learn from the experience of others and trust our body, mind, and spirit when it tells us something is out of whack.
What is right for someone else may not be right for us. Forty hours is a significant portion of time during a week, so it bears thinking about how we are spending it.
Do you feel you are spending your hours well?