It’s 9:30pm, I am writing this from the comfort of my sofa, eating banana bread and watching the bake off on catch up – a critical point to begin on. Work finished at 5pm, admittedly I did go to the gym but that’s a daily occurrence. I then proceeded to come home, shower, make dinner and slump on the sofa.
Is this what we all do?
Is this the beauty (read reality) of the working life? Humans of New York (@humansofny) posted a very interesting photo at the beginning of the week. A young-ish guy, dressed smart (definitely wearing what works), in a park in NYC enjoying his lunch break. He struck me as someone who worked on Wall Street. A crazy busy office with excitement hitting the walls every minute of any given day. Upon reading the first couple of lines of the caption, my initial judgement of him was confirmed to be true. A cool, active guy who enjoyed socialising and as my mind wandered I could imagine him sitting bar-side post-office hours enjoying a well deserved beer. But then, as all HONY posts do, it had a plot twist. It really struck me and got me thinking about my work life – are we all stuck in the rat race and don’t even realise it?
‘I thought I could resist the rat race. I thought: ‘I’m a unique guy. I like to mix things up.’ So I fought it for a long time. I stayed up past my bedtime. I listened to music really loud in the morning, I rode my bike to work. I always tried to find new places for lunch. I joined a softball team. I went to concerts on weeknight. But I just got tired. I ended up staying later at the office. And I fell into a rhythm: come home, watch TV and go to sleep. I’m not sure I can do this for the next forty years. I just miss waking up and not knowing what’s going to happen.’
This is the reality of full time working. Is this what we have signed up for, for the foreseeable? My sister is a student and I envy her decision at 8pm on a Tuesday to go to the club, I envy that she can hit snooze on a Friday morning because class doesn’t start until 11am and I really envy that every day is different for her and more than that – I hate that I didn’t fully appreciate that life when I was at uni! Damn.
I work in a small village, my days are very same, same but different and nothing overly exciting ever happens. Correction. Nothing exciting ever happens. Naturally I would never refer to myself as being stuck in the rat race. I have never battled my way through a London tube station at rush hour or stayed in the office past 8pm because deadlines but I suppose that’s not always what defines such rat race.
A vote today got me feeling shook. Posting the previously mentioned post from HONY and questioning if work – home – food – bed was the norm with answers bluntly being ‘Haven’t we all?’ or simply, ‘Never!’ 85% of people watching my Instagram story said they have fallen victim to the rat race and the other 15%, well, in short – I admire you. We are all little rats, scouring to make it through the week and getting in as much TV time as possible before bedtime rolls round, or worse – that 6:30am alarm.
You know as well as I do that mid-week plans throw a spanner in the works. It puts you off the normal runnings of a typical week and who needs that stress on a Tuesday night. But maybe this is what we should be doing? Surely having a bit of variety would change things up and get us feeling a bit more energised through the week… just so long as it doesn’t pass my usual bedtime and doesn’t happen more than twice a month! I’ve (really) picked my brains thinking of reasonable things which we could start doing through the week, lets at least try to achieve one of them and #killtherats
Blah, Blah, Blah. Stop preaching about exercise… Ok, I hear ya but its more than the brutal hour of questioning why you took on yourself to sign up to this tourtue. Find a small gym with a good social vibe & it could make all the difference.
Gym not your scene? Pick up a sport you used to play or likewise, one you don’t know the first rule about. You don’t know until you try!
A good book is hard to beat. Ditch your phone for the half hour spent in a scroll hole before sleeping and I’m sure you’ll feel some sort of benefits from it, and become super intelligent.*
A good cuppa round in a friends house putting the world to rights throughout the week is bound to bring with it a good gossip and lots of laughs. Make a weekly/fortnightly thing of it and you’ll find yourself counting down the days until the catch up is scheduled in again! Beats drinking tea alone and talking to yourself…
Some nights writing a blog post seems like the most challenging, mind numbing thing in the world after a day starring at two screens from 9-5 paired with your boyfriend watching TV & simultaneously watching WWF videos on his phone with the sound on full… However, other nights I find it is the most releasing, freeing and stress relieving way to clear my head and reflect on the day. All I need is a cup of tea and a word document and I could write for Ireland. As you can imagine, 90% of these blog posts don’t see the light of day! Try it, it can make everything seem a little less daunting!
GRAB A DRINK
If you like making plans well in advance (which may or may not be anything to do with having time to agree a days annual leave following a night in the town) Edinburgh Cocktail Week is coming up fast and it cannot be missed. It may take the entire week to make your way round the 80 participating bars, sample each specially designed signature cocktail and factor in time to enjoy the all new Cocktail Village in the centre of town but I guarantee it will be worth it… I will absolutely not be in front of the TV between 15th-21st October post work hours and that’s a fact. Grab yourself a wristband here and join me for a cocktail, I don’t have enough friends to fill 7 nights…
The harsh reality is: we all have to work.
The common reality is: sometimes it sucks.
You will always remain on the track unless you get out of the rat race! Step out of your comfort zone every now and again and who knows, you may actually enjoy it!
Until next time,
*DISCLAIMER: this is not a fact.