The 40-Hour Grind Coupled With Chores Is Leaving Me No Time For Myself

Email this to a friend


The 40 Hour Grind Is Leaving Me No Time For Myself

With a backlog of spring cleaning that is now summer cleaning (and will likely be fall cleaning), gardening, travelling for weddings and bachelor parties on top of sitting in a cubicle for 40 hours each week, basically, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Every week I always tell myself, “I’m going to clean out the spare room/reorganize the shed/hike/get my car inspected/go to the dentist etc.” What happens is maybe one or two things get done almost all the way. Part of it is definitely laziness after I work all week and then complete my home obligations like taking care of pets, family or other short notice bullshit, but the other part is that it’s nice to sit down and decompress after being a “functioning” member of society all week.

As Americans, we are overworked. Right now, we have the highest number of college graduates in US history all vying for jobs. I work a 40 hour a week job and write for PGP, along with doing odd jobs and helping the Mrs. with her side gig. I’m also picking up caddying again, just to pay off some car repair bills, meaning even less spare time.

I honestly don’t know how families do it. We’re the only developed nation that doesn’t have maternity leave. There’s been countless studies done that talk about the overworked American and it doesn’t help we’re the only industrialized nation without guaranteed paid time off. Our productivity is up something like 300% since the 1970s, yet wages are stagnant and we are expected to answer emails and phone calls off the clock. And then if we don’t check our email at home or if we miss our boss’s phone call or text, we feel like shit about it because society is that fucked up.

I try to keep the complaints to a minimum. To be honest, I love working, seeing the fruits of my labor and seeing the metamorphosis of a project from start to finish. I’ve been working since I was 14 and have learned a lot about myself. But sometimes, it’d be nice to be able to unplug, go away for a weekend to the beach or camp or just sit around and do nothing. The weekends are supposed to recharge us and have us ready to do another week, not be a time solely dedicated to chores, household upkeep, weddings and expensive bachelor parties. I love all those things, but it’d be nice to be rested for once. I can’t remember the last time I had a completely free Saturday.

I feel like I’m in a constant cycle of playing catch-up. All of my PTO is already budgeted towards the four weddings I have or will be attending this year. I spend most of my time not at work updating, renovating and improving my home if I am actually able to spend more than a few hours at my house. I’d love just a few days to relax until climbing the next mountain. But if adulthood has taught me one thing so far, it’s that your PTO is never going to be dedicated to actual time off; it’s just time that you feel bad asking to use in order to get things done that are too time-consuming to do in between regular work hours.

It seems even when I don’t have a wedding, family reunion or other obligation already lined up for the weekend, a last minute obligation always turns up. After replacing all my Explorer’s tires, my car decided to find a screw in the road, courtesy of some assholes doing construction at a nearby site. The week before, a friend asked if I’d move him and his girlfriend across town. I have no problem with it, I love to help, but I haven’t had a weekend free of duties in three months and my guns are begging me to go to the range.

It’s always something. I need to go to the dentist, go to the doctor, get my tire fixed, get the car inspected, go visit my family at home, travel for 4th of July, attend a bachelor party, travel to Nashville for a wedding, clean out my shed, finish the backyard, assemble a bunk bed, cut my father-in-law’s grass, and more things that I’m forgetting about. Every time I cross something off the list, two more things appear. Since my PTO is already budgeted, I can’t even take a day or two off to knock out a chunk of the list. If something major comes up and I need more time, I’m royally fucked.

Life always seems to come with challenges. I guess this comes with the responsibilities of being an adult. Between finding time to see friends, playing softball, gardening, making food, cleaning and all the other great things that come with the adult territory, it gets overwhelming. The only thing to do is to stay on the grind and work towards crossing things off the list. I’ve definitely learned to time manage and multitask, to work smarter not harder, and to ask for help as well as give help. We’re all in this together. Hopefully, I can get my spare room cleaned so I can finally put my bunk beds in, just in time for college football season when everyone needs a place to stay to party and re-live the carefree days before all these responsibilities. We had so much more time back then, but nothing to do. It’s funny how life works out that way. At least there will be a ton of room for activities.

Image via Shutterstock

Email this to a friend


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Click to Read Comments (27)