You know the feeling, get up early, commute to work, spend 8.5 hours there doing whatever it is you are required to do, commute home, eat, sleep. Repeat 5 times a week, for 48 weeks of the year for 40 odd years, in return for money.
All this to pay bills, feed and clothe our families and keep a roof over their head. And all this to make someone else money.
This is not a new phenomenon as our ancestors have been doing it for centuries and until recently, there wasn’t much provision for you or your family if you became ill or died. There weren’t any laws regarding safety and feudalism was rife, which may have given a roof over the head but also led to some pretty unsavoury behaviour from lords and masters which would go unchecked.
If we take the example of the Highland Clearances, which was effectively ethnic cleansing from the indigenous area, where tenant farmers become less important and replaced by sheep, a more valuable investment. This led to mass migration, to new worlds for these people robbed of their lives, the land of their birth by their lairds.
Moving forward, as the economic climate changed, the need for people changed to man the factories and work in towns and cities. Single women worked while married women were expected to stay at home to look after house and kids, something that lasted for a long time. Women were not expected to have a further education or career, but to stay at home. I’m certainly not belittling the job of house person, not at all, more pointing out that it was male dominated in the work place.
If we fast forward to living memory, into the 50s & 60s, women were having more opportunity in education and the workplace, but still the majority were expected to be stay at home mums while the husband worked to support the family. One wage supported a larger family than we have today and work was less hours than we expect now, with less of a commute.
Then came the idea that women should have more access to education and jobs in the workplace, which meant more money coming in to the Treasury, as well as the established roles changing. To me, this is a good thing as women get the same opportunities as men in education and at home.
In today’s world, we have smaller families, longer working and commuting hours and two salaries coming in, yet it’s harder and harder for people to live comfortably. In short, we’ve become wage slaves and work is now dominating our lives, with the work / life balance weighted towards work. In my case, this led to burnout and mental illness.
There has to be a better way.
I haven’t been able to work since November last year and find that I am not able to work yet. When I am, it certainly won’t be back doing what I was doing as it broke me once before and I’m not letting it again. I am doing some online work but it doesn’t bring in the money I need to sustain us and I want to find some way of earning more money from home. It’s the Better Way for me and I will continue trying to find it.
Answers on a postcard if you know of anything that can help.
I try to advise my kids about work, that doing something they find interesting, that is a passion should be their job. Then they’ll never work a day in their lives as it will be interesting and enjoyable. It’s my advice to anyone who cares to read and put it to practice.
The Better Way is inside each of us and we need to find it, for our own sake.