It’s been a few years I work part-time. Not to raise kids, not because I’m sick, not to build a house, not to travel the world but just for fun. Now I ask myself the question: does working part-time helps me to enjoy life, to feel free? My opinion about ‘work for a living’ changes with the hands of time and I’m not even sure I can formulate a conclusion about this matter, but I’ll try.
I’m gonna sound like a veteran here but in the years I worked full-time, the days were pretty damn long at work and pretty damn short when off work. When I first started my career as teacher, there were only a few hours available. Every year I didn’t had a full-time, my lovely colleagues and bosses were like: ‘Ah, what a pity for you. But there will be more hours when she retires, just hold on. It’s when you’re young you have to do it eh, making money to kickstart your life eh, we understand..’ Most of the time I comforted those who were pitying me and tried to explain it was fine by me. But somehow I felt ashamed and it seemed to me that people did not understand I was relieved with working part-time. I felt guilty about my feelings, so I hid how super glad I felt because I thought it was not ok. I tried to stay under the radar to escape my problem: fear.
Somewhere along the way I got the offer of a full-time job and I took it. I don’t know why. At that time it seemed like a logic thing to do. People told me I was so lucky. After trying to understand what that meant I learned that luck is not what people say it is. Or even what I think it is. Anyway, I grew very tired of working full-time very quickly. Literally. Most of the days when I got home I felt exhausted and had to take a nap for a couple of hours. I did it for a couple of years until I decided it was enough and had the strength and courage to do it. Many times, quitting my job seemed the only way out but I chose to work part-time, again.
I discovered I like to work for short times. Going to work is fine, but I like to go home before my energy is drained cause my job is not who I am. I can play a certain role required for a job, yes, but it is not who I am, therefore I can not do it for long. It has nothing to do with working, I am not anything I do. I can not do anything for a long time. So in this respect working part-time is perfect. And I just want to have time to do nothing too. There are also so many things I like time for, little things: just sit and relax, help my brothers, take the dog for a walk, game, move, mow the grass, do yoga on the beach, dance in the rain, skinny dips in the sea, meet beautiful strangers, meditate, write something, read another thing, compost organic waste, .. and those things can only be done now. Planning is postponing happiness. I am here now, you are here now. With making plans you live in the future while being here now. But yeah, I am not what I do and you are not what you do. I try to get to know who I am but the only thing I know is who I am not. I am not my job. You are not your picture. I am not my story. You are not my ideas nor your beliefs.
I started this post because I wanted to tell about how great life is when working part-time, how I mastered time, how I outsmarted life but in all honesty I have to tell you I still feel lost. I still try to escape my problem: fear.
With working part-time I did not grew closer to who I am and I have not overcome fear. I just have a little bit more time to observe, to reflect on my convictions and to see how wrong they are. None of my plans I made in the past brought me true salvation or lasting happiness. I don’t know what I have to do, to live freely. Again, I am invited to let go of my own plans and trust the bigger plan. It’s not mine. I don’t even know what it is, how it will unfold but it’s gonna be okay.
Full time, part time, all-time or no time, I’m sure we will find
Thank you for being here.