Today I’m linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.
When you first read the title of this blog post you may think, “that doesn’t make any sense.” But it does, and I’m going to explain why.
Americans live in a busy world. We pride ourselves on not having enough time for things…not having enough time to workout, not having enough time for our family, not having enough time to travel. This is a sad fact of the American lifestyle- that you are expected to bust your ass at work and keep busting it, spending long hours in the office, taking your work home with you, always being on call or available if needed.
A running friend of mine said something that really resonated with me the other day…she has lived in Italy before and our other running buddy asked her, “how is the culture different between Europe and America?” Her answer? “They live and then work, we work and then live. They are never in a hurry. Dinner takes three hours and you are never rushed.”
This got me thinking…it seems like everyone I encounter these days already has something they “have” to do. Hurry, hurry, hurry, late, late, late. This became much clearer to me when I was having a conversation with my manager about taking on extra responsibilities at my second job. She was wanting me to work more on the weekends. I said no. Initially, I felt bad (maybe because she made me feel a little guilty about it). I felt like since I was a manager I should be saying yes. But then I remembered the whole reason why I got a second job in the first place. Because I wanted to live more. I wanted to travel and race more. And I can’t do that if I’m constantly working. I can’t live the life I want if I’m overwhelming myself with job responsibilities. Moreover, it would turn a job that I actually love into a job that I hate. So, when they asked me about working more hours, I stuck to my guns and said no. And it felt empowering.
Sure I could apply for a promotion at either of my jobs. But that would mean more hours worked and less free time. I honestly don’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself. I’m going to stay where I am for a while. My main goal in life is to be happy- not always because I’m aware that isn’t realistic. But I don’t want to spend my life wishing I were able to do something else. Those people are the ones who wake up one day at 45 or 50 and wonder where their youth went. I want to be the person who wakes up at that age knowing that I stepped out of my comfort zone and did things I never thought I would.