The burden of work

About a year ago, my life took a turn for the weird and I ended up getting a stable, go to the office, work in a team type of job. Sure, I had been working for some years prior to that, but it had almost always been along the lines of working from home and working on my own terms. I was excited and somewhat worried. I remembered my first office job: I was for the most part ignored and then assigned to do small tasks that were far off from what I would have liked to do. I quit after 6 months.

But this was different. This was a big company that had a pretty good idea of how to treat employees right and I was going to work on a web / Python project under GNU / Linux. From a technical point of view, I was at home. Mind you, that didn't stop me from worrying about the project being too complex, about not being good enough and about not fitting in. The joys of being human, I guess.

For the most part, everything was great: I had people around me (something that is painfully lacking when working from home), a stable income, and a somewhat regular schedule. Sure, I missed the standing desk at home and being able to go "Fkuc it!" and go bike-riding on a Monday evening, but I figured that in the end, it's a reasonable trade-off. After all, this is how normal people live their lives. I should be able to do it too, right?

Fast forward to about a year later and I'm at a point in my life where I no longer feel anxiety, fear or joy. I'm too tired to feel most of these. In fact, what I mostly feel is anger and a constant strain to get through all the things I needed to do. I get angry every time someone asks me to go out or do something, because that's just more work on my plate and I constantly wonder how people live like this.

You millage may vary, but for me, most weeks were like this: wake up, eat something (or don't), get to the office as fast as possible, go through emails, prioritize what you're working on and try to get as much work as possible done. Leave work, get home as fast as possible, eat something (or don't), exercise a bit (or don't), and try to get some work done on your own projects as well. The joys of wanting to write code as a hobby as well, I guess.

Between getting home (6 PM) and being too tired to do anything at all, there's very little space to fit your laundry, cleaning, cooking, your hobbies or friends, your hopes, your dreams and your aspirations. And then there's the weekend. It's usually get chores done on Saturday and try to relax and disconnect a bit on Sunday, because guess what? Tomorrow, this small version of hell is starting all over again. Rinse and repeat and it's no wonder people act the way they do. Hell, I even started impulse buying and I'm one of the most money-conscious people I know. And of course I didn't need the junk I was getting. I just wanted some joy in my life and buying something was the least time-consuming thing I could do.

The solution? Work less - live more. In my case, the people at work have been kind enough to allow me to work part time. This means I go to work 3 days a week now. It's only my first week, but I haven't felt this relaxed in ages. I actually spent time taking walks through the city, catching up with old friends and writing this here post.

Sure, there's less money in the bank, but I feel so much richer...