I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living for weekends, holidays and acts of God that miraculously gift me a day off in desperate times.
You may chalk my current misery up to post-holiday blues or Wednesday fatigue and you may be right. Either way, this life of looking forward to painfully short breaks like moments of respite for one foot in a dance over hot coals makes me sick to my stomach.
The satisfaction just isn’t worth much anymore.
Since I can’t opt out quite yet, here’s my simple plan to manage this intolerable situation:
1. Try really hard to enjoy the things I do for money.
I can’t keep making compromises about my happiness, suffering through shit no one should have to endure just because I want a little more money. It has to stop.
I know I’m going to get even more picky about work and that’s going to limit how much extra income I make, but these are realities I can live with.
2. Schedule my breaks and make the most of them.
If you’ve ever had a three-week vacation pass in a blur of half-hearted conversations, Netflix binges and junk food buffets, you probably know why this is a sore point for me.
It’s not enough to take a break, I also need to know what the hell I’m doing with it before it comes around. Otherwise, I could as well keep going till I burn out and need to be carried away unconscious on a stretcher.
3. Be intentional about resting.
I don’t belong to the “I’ll rest when I’m dead” class of people. I think we can all agree that this kind of thinking is ignorant bullshit that gets people killed.
For that reason alone, I have chosen to draw flaming boundaries around my mealtimes, evenings and weekends because every escape has to actually be an escape.
I will also not negotiate with workplace terrorists who don’t have the decency to respect my humanity.
Consider this reminder of a commonly known fact: Our bodies need rest (read: lounging, sleep and ‘do nothing’ time) as much as they need food, water and exercise.
I mean, how else do we expect to recover the energy we expend every day of our brutal adult lives?
So if my phone has to go off or I have to take a midday walk or (ironically) hide in the toilet so I can breathe, best believe it will happen. Everyone will be alright.
4. Skip going the extra mile sometimes.
Listen, this thing is called the extra mile for a reason: it’s optional, not obligatory.
This means that on days I don’t have it in me to give an ounce of special effort, that’s okay because I’m human. I’m allowed to be human. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is inhuman, insane or both.
5. Make room to explore my interests.
Capitalism is a monster feeding on the best of us.
In the name of having an entrepreneurial spirit and multiple streams of income, one can no longer have an exciting thought about doing something in peace without immediately feeling the need to consider making money from it.
It’s like if you don’t ask the “How can I monetise this?” question, someone with too much audacity will ask you.
What the hell happened to hobbies (that don’t involve sitting in front of a screen)?
Please, not every passion needs to become a portfolio to justify the time we invest in it.
So maybe I can choose to grow plants just because I love them and not have to worry about a go-to-market strategy. Or dabble in some woodwork without trying to put the carpenters on my street out of business.
Is that too much to ask?