I binge watched Emily in Paris recently and one quote from the show seemed to have stuck with me – “Americans live to work. French people work to live.”
The more I thought about it, the more that I thought that it’s true. It’s definitely true in my opinion that a part of American culture is the hustle culture. I see it within my own friend group. I know so many people who not only work a full time role, but have a part-time side gig as well.
For some people, it truly makes sense to have to work many jobs. Life and adulting is expensive and some people need it to pay for student loans, debt, etc. For others – myself included – it is a way to take a hobby and earn a little extra money on your own terms (which is why I am planning to open an Etsy shop in 2021). However, I can’t help but feel the pressure of getting a side job as well as my 9-5 one.
According to a report on Bankrate entitled The Average Side Hustler Earns Over $8K annually, 37 percent of Americans work a side job. Furthermore, the article says that 50 percent of millennials do the same as well. And, while some of these side hustles are truly a way to have a little fun, others are not. As many of us know, burnout culture is on the rise.
A little while ago, I saw a tweet that talked about the fact that quarantine is not a productivity contest nor everyone should have to come out of it with their next side hustle. However, I want everyone to think about quarantine – at least for those who had to work from home and stay home.
For me, it was a chance to indulge in the things that make me happy. Crocheting, watching addictive television shows, playing Animal Crossing, reading and blogging are all a few things that bring me joy in between working from home.
Since the pandemic began, I’ve seen so many of my friends do the things that bring them joy from baking to trying something new. Which I’m sure if the pandemic never happened, they never would have done. I think quarantine was this big pause button. And, I’m going to be honest here, I think we needed it.
This is why I am choosing to reject hustle culture. I am going to continue to work hard at my full time role. However, I am choosing to also fill my life with things that I enjoy. I am going to blog whenever I feel it is a good time for me to blog, and when it’s not, I am not going to. I am choosing to make time for rest, for making blankets, and reading every book I can. Balance and boundaries are essential in this life – including this one. For me, this is about only having one full-time position, and making time for my hobbies. For me, it’s actually using my vacation days. My work will get done, and I will remain productive. But, I will be sprinkling in some fun as well.
I think many people choose to hustle because they feel better about themselves whenever they are busy. And, there’s no shame in that. For those types of people, that works. But, I am going to challenge you. What was the last time you took a moment to enjoy your life? Or, to enjoy something that may not make you money, but puts a smile on your face? If you can’t think of it, then I want you to carve that in. Let’s use some of that time off to relax, take trips when things slow down, and just take a step back to for a cleansing breath.
At the end of the day, I think that it’s important to remember that while it’s important to work hard, but it’s important to enjoy life as well.