I’ve been thinking lately. (I know, I know. No jokes, please.)
There are 168 hours in a week.
For 40 of those hours, I’m at work. Just under 5 hours a week are commuting to and from work. That’s 26% of my time during the week (assuming that I don’t stay late or get stuck in traffic).
Let’s call it 56 hours dedicated to sleeping, 7 hours for showering/grooming/starting my day. At least 7 hours are spent on mealtimes. That’s 70 hours for human maintenance tasks, which is another 42% of my time.
And then there are the decidedly-not-glamorous-but-still-necessary things like grocery shopping, doing laundry, running errands, paying bills, preparing meals, washing dishes, cleaning the house, etc. I’ll be extremely generous and call that 5 hours a week.
After all those things, I’m left with 49 hours–or 30% of my week–for my own use. And as everyone knows, it’s never 49 uninterrupted hours. It’s an hour or so here and there, between doing all those other things.
Now, I’m notoriously bad at math, but even I know that these numbers tell a story.
In my case, they tell the story of a girl who’s 3 years out of college and still hasn’t figured out what she wants to do with her life, but has enough unsatisfying job experience to know that it’s definitely not what she’s been doing for the past 2 years. It’s the story of a girl who has 13.5 months until she turns 26 and has to start paying for her own health insurance. It’s the story of a girl who had a crystal-clear realization recently that every day she spends at work is another day of life opportunities she’s missing out on.
These numbers say that I’m unhappy (and wasting my precious life) every day that I set foot in my office, and that the clock is ticking for me to figure out just what it is I’d rather be doing.
I’ve realized that now is the most perfect time I will ever, ever have to quit my job and make the best use I can of these last 13.5 months of free health insurance (thanks, Dad!) + one year’s salary in the bank.
Last week, it hit me: my life is too short and too important to waste doing things I hate.
I’ve spent the ensuing days trying to decide whether I’m brave enough to stop doing those things, and to find new ones that I love. Now’s my time. I’ll never have such a perfect chance again.