Quiet screaming desperation

9 Mar

I am a big fan of TED and recently saw Nigel Marsh’s talk about creating a balance between life and work. One of my life list goals is to make a 21 hour working week a reality in my life and at the moment I really wish it was true.   I find my current job (which is admittedly on a temporary contract) truly boring.  And this is frustrating – I feel there are so many things that I could do if I wasn’t sitting filing, answering phones and doing timesheets for 8 hours a day and commuting for over 2 hours.

I am mulling some ideas over in my head of what I can do when I finish the contract.  I will be studying from October with my Masters with roughly a week on full time courses (35 hours a week) and then two weeks off.  This does make it a bit tricky to get some part-time work so I am looking at some possibilities of how I can supplement my savings.  It is an exciting challenge as it lets me practice, in a way, of how I could potentially get to that 21 hour working week.

Of course the 21 hour work week has personal appeal but more importantly I think it is a big part of how we are going to move to a more sustainable world.  I have been thinking recently on what a sustainable world would look like.  In my mind it goes a little something like this:

  • We wouldn’t just have one “job”.  I think we have all become too ‘specialised’ and have lost balance and become dehumanised in some ways because of it.  In nature, diversity is key to maintaining an ecosystem and being resilient when things change.  In my utopia people would still perhaps have jobs like making televisions and vacuum cleaners but they would just spend less of their life doing it and more time with their family and working in the community.  There would be community gardens on each block where people would meet and talk.  Parents could spend more time with their children.
  • There would be greater self-sufficiency within communities but we could still have things like coffee and chocolate because farmers in countries like Peru and Cote d’Ivoire would still grow them.  Their first priority however would be to feed their own people.  After that local cooperatives in the South would trade with cooperatives in the North.  There wouldn’t be giant supermarkets who force people to create perfect carrots and don’t pay their farmers a living wage.
  • Greater self-sufficiency also means that we would all have some form of local low carbon energy supply.
  • Because we work less and don’t earn as much money we wouldn’t own as much stuff but that is okay because stuff doesn’t make us happy.  People make us happy (and the occasional treat).

Also in my world the sun would always shines and it would only rain on the occasional night, once we had all gone to bed (after all we do need the rain).

And everyone would have doormats like this …

So, who wants to join me?


One Response to “Quiet screaming desperation”

  1. Kelly 14 March 2011 at 10:08 am #

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the doormat, and the whole idea in general… i’m so with you on this 21 hour work week thing. 🙂

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