Losing one's job (while being lucky enough to have some savings to go on) is the best way to understand how much time and energy menial jobs take out of one's life. To me, it feels like a rehab, like regaining some long lost ability or skill. The urge to create grows stronger as I get back to writing, reading, thinking, all while feeling a new energy that makes me want to run, excercise, improve... It feels amazing, though I know, in the back of my head, this can't last.
@Antanicus I agree 100%.
I lost my job once when I was younger and I realized that. I needed the money back then because I wanted to leave my parents' house.
After some time I got a new job, a much better one and long time later I decided to leave it because of many reasons (ethical reasons and stuff) but also because I wanted to feel free again and I wanted to recover my life.
@Antanicus Yeah, when I look back to my twenties (when I burned out and spent a few weeks on anti-depressants) I'm glad for the experience. The shit that happens in life helps make you stronger and realise what's important.
I'm working four days per week now for an employer, but ideally I think I'd do three.
@dajbelshaw @Antanicus Agreed, first unexpected job loss was in late 20s mixed with burnout, a mild reveal of freedom but not a wakeup. Later after restructuring life to quit for a similar period, deeply experienced how much work takes away for only money. Further restructured and balanced with my wife's time, our household works for pay 10% of hours in the year instead of full time's 22%. We could maintain on 6%. We know we're lucky, and with specialized valuable skills, and happy with less.
@dajbelshaw @Antanicus A 40hr week split between the two of you is great, 11% by my math if you don't take significant vacation. (I like to think in terms of total hours not normalize the 40hr week - when I was young I worked 80hr weeks sometimes, and only a week or three of scattered time off). But listen closely to your sense that 3 days/week might be a better balance for you!
@dajbelshaw @Antanicus same here (and also true for teachers grading and reading), though having a young kid at home too is a handy reminder all the time I'm off the clock. If i had to include commute time in my prior life's accounts it's even more drastic, though by train at least it was usually time to read or nap.
Startup culture warps minds. My boss bought me an air mattress for the office - a red flag for all'y'all in hindsight. I was working 80hr weeks towards an arbitrary deadline, and just Mon-Fri as I was remodeling a house on the weekends. I had no life outside these things. As is the case for most who play startup lottery, I got nothing for it in the end, not the mattress or the house. Just a future smile when bosses would dangle the lure of a hypothetical bonus.
"Next time you read a a work of SF ask yourself whether the protagonists have a healthy work/life balance. ... What is this thing called a job, and what is it doing in my post-scarcity interplanetary future? Why is this side-effect of carbon energy economics clogging up my post-climate-change world? Where does the concept of a paid occupation whereby individuals auction some portion of their lifespan to third parties as labour in return for money come from historically?"