Free time = Stress?

Last weekend I ran into a guy who hasn’t been working for a year and a half. He worked for years in a well paid job and now he just does what he wants to do. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since then.

The thing is, I am a student right now. After being at a 9-5 job for a year and a half I feel like I have a lot of free time at my hands. My Christmas vacation was six (!) weeks. Fortunately I was editing a manuscript for four of those six weeks, otherwise I think I would have gone crazy. Like I feel now, after I finished my internship, which means that all I have to do is go to my classes 3 times a week, 2 hours each time. That’s nothing. That’s a lot of free time, even with the homework.

Free time sounds great, right? Well… I am having definite problems with it. I think we, of the western civilization, have been programmed to think that we must always be contributing to society… We have to work for a living, otherwise what are we doing? Long, leisurely vacations are for the rich. We the normal people have to work, hard, for what we want. You can’t just do nothing. What is that worth? What are you worth? It fits together with our assumptions that our jobs are who we are – that we are measured by our careers. That is not true, I know it’s not – yet still I struggle.

I don’t know if I could not work even if I had money for everything I could possibly need. What I need to admit to myself is that I feel guilty. Slightly guilty, everyday, for all of my free time, for the things I do not accomplish while I am here. Even though I am at school, which is a totally acceptable use of my time. I feel like I could do more. I feel like I could be more.

Which is ridiculous, I know. We should stop this madness, and just enjoy. Be happy, with whatever we are doing, wherever we are. Enjoy the free time which might not come again so soon. I am gonna try my very best to do just that – now that I’ve got this off my chest 🙂

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