Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Real Life" is Bull: A Rant

This post is a part of the Etsy Bloggers Street Team Blog Carnival.
The theme is…BULL! Anything to do with bull: the animal bull, bullfights, just shooting the bull, the zodiac sign Taurus, something with the characteristics of a bull (stubbornness, strong will, strength) anything you think is bull, a bull market, the word bull and words that begin with bull as in bullies, bullseye, etc.

On Sunday night, I was bemoaning having to go into work the next morning and Scott said something to the effect of "welcome to real life" or something like that. Anyway, that got me to thinking. . . Why is it that "real life" consists of people having to go to a job they hate because they have to make a living? Yes, I realize that people need money to survive and that we haven't reached a utopia where we can barter and trade for what we need. However, does that mean that people have to waste away at a soulless job to justify their existence? I mean, think about it:

40 hours a week sitting behind a desk being bored to tears (my current predicament)
56 hours = 8 hours of sleep, 7 days a week
5 hours = 1 hour to get ready to go to said soulless job when it's only on 5 out of 7 days per week (sometimes it's more)
10 hours = 1 hour commute there and another back home
111 hours total. 111 HOURS out of a 168 hour week.

There are 168 hours in a week minus the 111 hours of "real life" bull leaves a total of 57 hours to do other non-bull stuff. When I'm lucky enough to have a full 48 hours off in a row, that leaves a total of 9 hours total for the other five days: approximately 1.8 hours each night. God forbid there are appointments, grocery shopping, cleaning, or other 'home business' that needs to be tended to.

I was lucky enough to have a job I loved for a full decade straight out of college. I was a stage manager for Broadway national tours, theatre in NY, regional theatre, a production manager at one of the busiest road houses in the country, and even did some business and industrial theatre. I always knew I was lucky to have a job that I loved and actually felt sorry for those that didn't. I couldn't fathom what it would be like to slave away at a job that I didn't love. Unfortunately, times have changed.

This is why I got so upset when Scott said "welcome to the real world" or whatever. Why does it have to be like this? I may sound naive saying this, but it is very upsetting to me.

This only makes me want even more to commit to my plan to start making chain maille for a living. I'm having problems figuring out how to do it with what little time I have left after the "real life" bull, though.

How do you do it? How are you reaching your dreams and living in the "real world" at the same time? How do you stay sane in a world where you might have to get by doing something that is not your passion?


RS Dixon said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean! And after you get home from your mindless soul-sucking job, how are you expected to scrounge up the energy to be creative?? I'm not convinced that we artistic types can stay sane (or at least not be clinically depressed) not doing something we are passionate about for a living.
When I get extra bummed about my state of affairs I look up other artist and artisans and read their stories about how their hard work and persistence got them to a place of self support, and remind myself to emulate that spirit and determination.

The Green Cat said...

I hear you J! I am so glad I ended up in a job I love with a company I love when I left the world of stage management. After 16 months though, I'm still trying to find the balance with the little free time I have. The things I "have" to do seem to eat up a lot more time now that I'm at work 8 hours a day. I've tried to break up those little annoying tasks (like cleaning and paying bills) into small bits that can be done in 10-minute increments when I have an extra few moments (like if I happen to get ready quicker than usual in the morning). It helps me feel less guilty when I want to take 4 hours on a Saturday to just sew!

Amanda Conger said...

(Okay the engineer in me just has to point out that you actually get more free time than that because you sleep on weekends (16 hours) which is already accounted for.)

BUT, I totally get what you mean. It's rough trying to run a business and work for a business. Especially when you consider that you could easily spend 60-80 hours a week on your own shop.

How do I do it? My etsy shop takes a backseat to crazy times at work and my family. I'm not trying to make a living from it, so I don't have that same pressure. And I basically have no other hobbies. My Etsy shops= the lion's share of my free time.

And to a certain degree, I thrive on busy. It's when things slow down too much that I am b.o.r.e.d.

As for practical advice--set smal achievable goals. I was doing a thing-a-day challenge in Feb (until it all fell apart) and I was amazed at not only how much I got done but at how productive and creative I felt. Sometimes you just need that kick in the rear.

Athena's Armoury said...

I'm so glad that there are others that can relate, but at the same time it makes me sad that there are.

That's great advice, ashes. I am so inspired by warrior women of every make and size. I think I'm going to start collecting their stories so that when I get 'that feeling' all I have to do is refer to what obstacle they overcame. If they can get women the right to vote, leave an abusive relationship, secure freedom for others, beat back an invading army, the least I can do is pick up a pair of pliers!

Yup, cat, time management is huge. Unlike you, though, I am SO not a morning person and am lucky I'm out the door on time. lol. But I do have two loads of laundry going as I'm typing this!

Okay engineer lady, I know I did bad math. lol. Yeah, my hobbies seem to take over my life: stage managing once and now maille. I just need to maintain momentum with that kick in the ass of which you spoke. =)

Paisley The Jackabee said...

Great read, thanks for participating. I'm lucky to have a live-in caregiver's job, which enables me to spend most of my time creating or online. Find a job you love, then it will all be worthwhile.

storybeader said...

Luckily, I love my job, but do enjoy getting away on weekends. And since I can't afford to travel, I take a day off, and make a 3-day weekend when I want.
(love your jewelry, BTW)

joeyandaleethea said...

As a native New Yorker, I worked in the corporate world of NYC for a dozen years, at a few different jobs. All of which I loved...until the very last year, which was awful. I dreaded getting up for work in the morning knowing I was going to "that place"...on top of that, I then had to commute either via car in bumper to bumper traffic for 2 hours, or via crowded buses and subways for 2 hours plus. Ugh - just thinking about the commute makes me tired. And as soon as I got to work, the real boredom and annoyance began! I was a total robot. Needless to say, the best thing I ever did for my sanity and creativity was QUIT. Soon afterwards I launched my Joey & Aleethea baby boutique...and never looked back...and as they say...the rest is history. Good luck to you.