Do you live to work or work to live? I swore to myself that I’d never be the kind of person who lives to work. Who thinks about their job all the time. Who misses out on life because they were too busy working.
I struggle with work/life balance and to understand office culture. There are 168 hours in a week. At least 50 are spent working/commuting. At least 50 are spent sleeping. I get home from work every day with 4 hours to eat dinner, go to the gym, do some laundry, and get ready for bed. It makes it hard to stop working for the weekend.
But is it realistic to adapt the working to live mindset? Because I don’t think a lot of employers actually promote that, no matter how much they talk about caring about an employee’s well-being. With the work culture nowadays, it really does feel like the world wants you to eat, sleep, and breathe your job. And if you’re not doing that, then you’re a slacker. Or you don’t care. Or you’ll never be told you’re performing well.
And while I want to perform well, it’s something that’s ingrained into me, I don’t want to be the kind of person that lives to work. I don’t want my sole existence to be my job. We should want our paychecks so we can spend them to make ourselves happy. We shouldn’t just be throwing them into a savings account and working every day until we die.
It’s really hard to find the balance – especially if you work full time or in an office setting. Sometimes I find myself jealous of the teenagers scooping popcorn at our movie theater. That was my high school job and I hated it – but think about how easy it was to finish a shift and just leave everything at the door. No emails to check on your phone, no worries about if you’re going to meet your deadline, no working longer hours because someone is putting pressure on you.
Will the work culture ever change? I feel like I hear these magical fairy tales of places that understand mental health days, that understand a job is not your life. But I’m not sure they actually exist.