This has been something that has been on my mind for quite some time - and perhaps it is something that you may have also considered.
I have been trying to get my head around this for a while.
So much has been written about it and we've all heard of ideas and suggestions to 'throw away your day job and travel the world'. And that's all very well and good (if that's what you want to do). But it's not at all possible.
You see, what I don't understand is why we have a five day working week. I don't understand, why so many people spend a great deal of their lives, the best part of their lives, working (often doing jobs they don't enjoy).
Why do we wait until we 'retire' to start living our lives? What on earth is the obsession with working five days a week for 40 years in a row with only four weeks (on average) off a year? It's madness.
I know that one has to earn money to pay the bills and to support the children. But why five days? And why are our costs so great?
If we worked less - would we get to enjoy life more? We might be financially poor, but we would be socially wealthy. I believe our relationships would be deeper and more fulfilling. We would have more time to be outside, in the garden, doing things we love.
Time and time again, the research has shown that one of the key things to health, happiness and longevity, is relationships.
How many relationships break down because the husband (sorry) perhaps also the wife, work crazy hours and are stressed? The weeks are spent working, the weekends are spent doing the housework, ferrying the kids around, catching up on unpaid bills. Hours are spent commuting in the car (more hours spent commuting = greater chance of divorce...)
Oh and 'going shopping' has somehow become a relaxing way to spend time... People upgrade cars, buy more 'stuff', buy prepackaged food because they don't have the time to cook or grow their own...
I fear the world has gone mad.
It's time to get off the crazy merry-go-round.
First and foremost, we can cut back. Cut back, stop spending so we don't need to work so hard. Get the essentials out of the way and take a break. Put that money away for experiences or just pay off the mortgage quicker. Recycle, reuse and reduce consumption. Stop buying stuff we don't need.
Secondly - nurture your relationships. They are essential. They are not a luxury - they are part of sustaining life. Go and hug your daughter, partner, flatmate. Arrange that coffee with a friend. Knock off work an hour early to support that person in need. Spend time doing the things that really matter.
Thirdly - nurture yourself. Take some time out - whether is a day or an afternoon or a year. Maybe you can throw away the day job and take a year off if that's what you want to do. At least organise a longer holiday break. Take Monday's off. Go bushwalking/gardening/visiting friends/cycling. Just because you aren't doing something 'productive' doesn't mean it doesn't count.
You are feeding your soul.
Let's start a revolution. Let's change the status quo. Let's reduce the working week and set an example of needing less but having so much more.
Go feed your soul. It just makes sense.