For the last few weeks, I have been working more than normal. As making and saving money is my number one prerogative at the moment, this probably comes as no big surprise. The issue, besides being exhausted, stressed, and having no time to anything else, is that I lack the drive to do any creative projects in my free time. When I get home all I can do is sleep and watch television. Not even television that requires any kind of major thought, mostly just episodes of shows I have already seen multiple times. Overwork is the death of creativity.
It is no secret that Americans are overworked. The statistics are astounding and the lack of government regulations in this country are pretty dismal especially when compared to those in other countries. Maximum hours worked per week, vacation time, paid holidays; these are not things we are finding in this country. Even Americans who have earned vacation time do not always take it. And since the economy tanked, things have only gotten progressively worse.
As a general rule, Americans value money above all else. The American dream is full of big houses, new cars, nice clothes, huge TVs, and any new-fangled technology that has come onto the market. They are spending above their means and very few seem to have any issue living off credit with an outrageous house payment, car payments and this is still the generation that is not completely inundated with student loans. The overwhelming desire for money has left us with a society full of people who are horribly in debt with no free time to enjoy either what they have been spending their money on or their lives in general.
Throughout the course of my life I have worked on various ends of the spectrum. I have gone through periods of time where I have spent roughly 60 hours of my week working and I have gone through periods of time where I have been totally and completely unemployed. Neither has been, for me anyway, much of a life. I, like many living in this country, have a handful of part time jobs rather that one full time job. Employers find part time employees a better situation because they are not required to pay benefits. Meaning, I have no job benefits. I pay for my own health insurance, I get no paid time off nor am I guaranteed time off. In fact, getting multiple employers to agree to the same few days to head out of town is quite a feat. When that does happen, I lose out on a decent amount of income. Periods of unemployment not only mean no income, which is difficult enough, but it means that I end up incredibly bored.
There is a balance. A good balance of work to life. I don’t believe it is the same for everyone, but everyone needs to find that balance. For me, working 60 hours a week does not work. Which I will be addressing with my employers here soon. I need time to myself, I need time to maintain myself, but I also need time to be creative. I need time to write. As an artist type, this is a fundamental part of my life. Without time to do these things, I cannot function as a person. Luckily, I will be designing again soon, which will pull double duty as both creativity and work. Unfortunately, the 60ish hours a week I am working right now are do not provide much in the way of creative outlets.
All this to say, sorry if the posting has been and continues to be a bit spotty for a while.