Stop the glorification of busy
You’ve all heard the motivational quotes where we’re told “don’t stop until you’re proud”, “don’t sleep until you’re done” and “winners never quit” But I feel sorry for the people who want to live like that. They’re lives sound like they’re full of anxiety and stress and will lead to the inevitable, burn out.
Do you know how harmful these quotes are? Why are we seen as losers or as lazy if we take a day to recharge ourselves? We’re creating a norm that people are only worthy or good enough if they work ridiculous hours every week.
Being so busy that you have little energy to spend time with your family on your days off is not good (trust me, I’ve been there). Why is this the life many people strive for? Is it what’s been programmed into us as normal? I don’t think it’s right.
So, I want you to cancel what you can out of your diary. Say no to events you don’t want to do. And think about how you can reduce being busy.
Ask yourself why you’re working so much. Is it to earn a lot of money to buy a big house and drive a fancy car? Is it to pay off debt? Is it to buy the latest iPhone or to keep up with the Jones’? Is it because that’s what you’re told is normal?
If we needed less, we could work less
If working 70+ hours a week to get your big home makes you happy, then do that. But, if having a smaller house means you can afford to work less, meaning you get to spend more time with your family, then that’s amazing!
I left my NHS job so I could take my children to the park at weekends. Yes, I’d trained hard for years at college and university, and my family thought I was bonkers when I told them I was leaving. “But you’ve worked so hard, don’t give up”. But, I knew I was making the right decision.
It wasn’t giving up. I wasn’t a failure. I wasn’t any less worthy for stepping away from a job that caused me to compromise my relationship with my husband and children.
I worked shifts (opposite shifts to my husband so I never saw him), meaning I was away from my small children when they needed me most. I left nursing so I could spend time with my family, I have no regrets.
Yes, I earn less than I did when I was employed, but I am much happier now. I have time for what I love. I get to sit down at meal times with my family and talk about their days. I get to spend birthdays and Christmas with them (the NHS is 24/7 so we don’t get the privilege of having Christmas off). I was there when my children learned to ride their bikes!
I’m not ridiculously tired on my days off anymore and I don’t miss out on anything. No amount of money is worth missing your child’s first birthday, first steps and first words. I never want to be away from my family on Christmas morning ever again, no matter what the pay rate that day is. Sometimes, less money means more happiness.
So I ask you, will working all these hours, earning lots of money make you happy? Honestly? What could you do more of, if you worked less?