Have you ever felt trapped in your life? Have you ever felt like you don’t have enough time? Do you neglect taking care of yourself because you feel you don’t have enough time in the day to eat correctly or exercise? Do you feel drained of energy? Do you feel like you are wasting your life sitting at a desk when there are so many things you’d rather be doing? Do you wish you had the time to meditate, play, read, or be with family? Does it seem like you’re always running, trying to catch up and yet falling behind? Are you stressed, on the edge of breakdown or just frustrated that your life is slipping away from you day by day?
Join the American way of life. Long work days with little time to cultivate our true selves. For once, Angst Readers, I am deadly serious here. I want to start a revolution. I want to make a change, a social change, a change for the better for all people. Will you help me? Do you want change? Do you want more time?
It appears that this is an older article from several years ago, but I just saw it on Facebook the other day and it got me fired right up so that I couldn’t even sleep! This article basically packages a lot of the things I’ve thought about before, but does so in a new and unusual way.
And Now…DEATH TO THE AMERICAN TRAP! FREE ME!!
This article cuts right to the quick about several things that get me fired up:
Pollution and Waste
Consumer Culture (funny because I’m taking a marketing class right now. Is marketing evil?!)
Stress, Health, Mental Health,
Time (and/or waste of time)
A Valued Life or a Life Worth Living
First off, the 40 hour work week is incredibly arbitrary. Why 40 hours? Why 8 hours per day? Who said that EVERY SINGLE job in the US should take 8 hours per day and 5 days per week? Who made this decision?
As the article states, it’s been this way since lobbyist were trying to get away from 10-16 hour work days in the olden days of worker exploitation. So 8 hours a day was a pretty nice deal. Do you know when this was happening?? THE EIGHTEEN HUNDREDS!! YES, 1800’s. The 19th century. Do you know how long it’s been since there’s been a change in the standard work day and work week? Yup, that’s right, over 100 years. HOLY WHAT???
And if you think about today’s society….how many things (laws, regulations, social norms) are different than they were over 100 years ago? The difference is DRASTICLY overwhelming. We’re so different in so many ways and now that we are in a technological “revolution” of sorts and have many ways to cut down on how long it takes to do things…why on earth are we still working 8 hours per day? Why are we letting norms from more than 100 years ago run our lives TODAY??
This article also talks about how big business wants things this way. They want us working 8 hours per day, not because we need to be, but because it keeps us in a consumer culture, spending money on things we don’t really need. We’re always trying to fill the hole inside us with a quick fix. And since we don’t have time to really take care of ourselves (exercise, eating right, meditation, play, etc) we turn to consumerism (including TV etc). So we are basically being held hostage by big business and our “standard” somehow “necessary” 8 hour work day. It’s absolutely insane!
How many of you out there could complete your job in less than 8 hours per day? How many of you are sitting there twiddling your thumbs waiting for the day to be over because you HAVE to sit at your desk for that random allotted time? How many of you are thinking, as you sit there on your expanding ass, about all the things you could be doing if you had a bit more time?
TIME is the most precious commodity we have as humans on earth. Think about it…love is good, friendship, family, etc. But in order to enjoy any of these things, we have to have time. And we’re throwing away our time EVERY SINGLE DAY!! Because someone randomly over 100 years ago set a standard. It’s INSANE!! Why do we continue on this way? Why don’t we stand up and demand change? It’s only within the last few years that such a thing as “flexible” work arrangements became more normal. And that still assumes 40 hours per week, just in a more flexible manner.
What would I do if I had more time? I would love to be more productive at work. I would love to be busy for 6 hours, instead of forced to sit at my desk for 8. I like the feeling of being busy and completing tasks, but with an 8 hour standard work day, I feel like no matter what I do, I’ll be sitting here, so why rush? There’s no benefit to me for completing my work faster or for being more productive. And knowing that I’m trapped at my desk certainly doesn’t make me happy. It makes me feel like a caged animal!!
I would love to have time to learn to cook, to take better care of myself. To clean my house, to organize my life, to spend time in learning, playing and enjoying life. I would love to have time for exercise, time to meditate, time to while away a day in any way I choose without feeling guilty, like I’ve mismanaged my precious free time.
When I say, start a revolution, I mean it. This article succintly lays out the problem, but there is no obvious solution. My husband says that the article is saying we need to just take note of this phenomenon in our lives. How we spend money, how we waste time, etc. But I want to take it a step further. I want social change. I want to see a change. Other countries are doing it!
I have such a hard time believing that something Europeans do will catch on here. Americans work too much. We don’t take enough vacations. We don’t take care of ourselves, hence the obesity epidemic. I think this epidemic (as well as all other health concerns from a sedentary lifestyle) can be blamed on our 8 hour work day and 40 hour work week. We don’t have TIME to take care of ourselves. If we had more time, imagine the savings to our health care plans? Imagine how much more healthy we’d be? Imagine how different the world would look? Less pollution, less waste, less trash in the landfill (consisting of shit we bought on a whim).
I WANT CHANGE!!!! HOW CAN WE MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN???
First off, we need a twitter hashtag, duh. What do you like???
I also SWEAR TO GOD that a lot of our social problems are because we feel trapped in our lives, so we try to take control in any way we can. Think about it…trapped working every single day, 8 hours per day for the rest of your life? Do you feel like there is nothing you can do? Would you try to break free in some other way? Divorce, cheating, drinking, binge shopping, getting into debt, hoarding, drugs, crime, etc?? And not only this…we also have so many mental illnesses that would be lessened by a more relaxed lifestyle that included more time to take care of self. WE ARE TOO STRESSED!! WE ARE MOVING TO FAST!!
Do you know how many times I’ve said, stop the ride, I want to get the hell off, but there seemed no way to escape???
There have been times in my life where I’ve been close to mental breakdown because of my restrictive working schedule and not having enough time to take care of myself. There have been days where I’m exhausted and can’t seem to catch up and all I want to do is go back to bed. There are days I want to give up because I feel so trapped in my life. And the more things we buy, the more trapped we become because we HAVE to keep working to pay for these things. It’s the American Trap, not the American Dream.
I want the American Dream back! I want to be healthy and happy and also earn a living. I want to be productive for my entire work day. I want to complete my work and not just sit at my desk because I have to. I want my time back! I’m sick of giving it up for some arbitrary reason. I’m sick of corporate America’s refusal to be flexible. I’m sick to death of our consumer culture and waste. It sickens me to see all the problems that are caused because we simply don’t have enough time! GIVE US OUR TIME BACK!!
HELP ME…Let’s make a change toward a happier, healthier life style! Let’s stop with humanity’s arbitrary rules and regulations that make no sense. It’s time for a change!!!
What can you do to make a change? Start out by sharing the message! Share David’s article, share this one, write your own! Talk to your HR professionals! Talk to managers, talk to friends and family, talk to anyone who will listen! Tweet! Share the link on your Facebook timeline! Start some ANARCHY!! Start a social REVOLUTION!!
Give me suggestions here about what we can do to make a change. I need your help!!