There was something that always annoyed me about living at home with my family. It’s something that also annoys me when I hang out with a group of friends that work at the same place or in the same industry or something.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the same before. More than likely, even, you’ve participated in it too…
Cause evenings at my house, like most homes I guess, was pretty much the same routine everyday. And whether it came as soon as the parents got home from work, or a bit later when we were all scattered around the family room eating dinner, inevitably the question would be asked: “So how was your day?”
Probably a question every person gets every day, from somebody in their life.
But if you ask me how my day was, you’ll probably only ever get one of a few one-word answers:
That’s it. That’s only ever it. Cause I just don’t like talking about my self or my day. And I’ve always been like that. Cause it’s just not something I find too interesting or fun, no matter what happened, really.
That’s not so, though, for the rest at my house growing up.
And it wasn’t so for my parents especially.
Now…they’re all awesome, of course. I heart them all. And I’d absolutely defend them against intergalactic ninjas if need be (they do exist).
But they’re just not the type to respond with a “fine” and move on; to simply let it be – whatever happened that day – and relax as they should, after so long a day at work.
They’re just not like me, in that sense.
And so, everyday, I’d have to hear all the office gossip and complaints that they just couldn’t get out of their system earlier.
The boss they hate. Or the co-worker who’s in their business. Or the lower-ranking loser who’s acting like they run the place.
Whatever junk they spent all day stewing about, but just couldn’t get off their chest until they were amongst people that wouldn’t endanger their jobs.
Every evening, then, became another episode in the ongoing saga of their life at work – like a daily soap opera or something. And the people of their job became like characters in a story – ones we heard of everyday and grew to hate like they hated, based on the stories they told us, and the images they painted of them.
Because if there was one thing that was common in every day’s retelling, it was that everyone in the place sucked, or under-appreciated them, or disrespected them in some small way. Typical disgruntled employee talk.
And so I’d hear again and again:
“And then BLANK said….and I’m like…”
“And if they do that just one more time…I’m just gonna tell em…”
And on, and on, and on…
And I know…
…they just wanted to share their day. I know that – as family, or friends, or partners – we’re supposed to care about the daily lives of those we care about; that we’re supposed to care what simply happened in their day.
I dunno, though. Maybe I’m not quite human like that; not quite caring like that.
Cause mostly I just don’t care.
There’s just some fine line I just can’t seem to see.
Cause – to me – work has no business in my personal life. It has no home in my home.
It’s weird, though.
Cause even when I was younger and teen depressed and anxious, really, to hate on everything, this was probably one of the few things I think I did well in life – that I never dwelt on work or school or whatever; that I never took the stuff that bothered me in the halls, or in class, or at whatever crappy retail job I had at the time and kept thinking about it, kept talking about it, kept dwelling upon it when I wasn’t even there.
I never brought the Devil home with me.
I never brought that which I hated into the one place I felt safe and at ease – the single place in the world where I didn’t have to worry about that crap or think about that crap.
The one place it couldn’t find me.
Because, like most people, I didn’t like work or high school.
It wasn’t so much the actual work itself, really, but more the people I had to deal with, and the dynamics I had to endure there – that some gossiped all day about nothing; that some are about as interesting as the white-painted walls, or just as funny; that you have to watch how you behave amongst some, or say around others, lest you get in trouble or break some faux pas; that you’re pressured constantly to buy into company mottos and dogmas and practices that you just don’t give a shit about.
I didn’t like work, then, because it was 8 hours spent amongst people I wouldn’t spend a minute with if I was not paid to do so; doing stuff I would not do unless I lived in a society where money was a necessity at all.
I did not consider these people worthy of my personal time. And I barely considered the job worthy of my professional time. Why in the world, then, would I spend my time after work talking about it, complaining about it, worrying about it?
Why would I let it get to me; let them win like that?
Maybe I’m odd, but…
When I leave school, I leave school there.
And when I leave work, I leave fucking work.
And I’m happier cause I do so.
I don’t bring it home. I don’t talk about it. I don’t think about it at all.
I have better things to do than gossip or complain about people at work or school. I have better things to do than care what some loser at work said, or some jerk at school said.
Because the few and (very) short hours after work or school are all I have to myself – before I have to go back, before I have to endure another day there, before they have me again.
And when you do as most do, and come home talking about it, gossiping about it, angry about it, you turn an 8-hour job into a 24-hour job; an hour-long class into a day-long class.
So try it some time.
Leave your work at work. Leave your school at school.
What you can of it anyway.
Don’t come home complaining about this person or that person. Don’t waste your time angry about what they’ve said or done that you think is so annoying or so insulting.
Don’t waste any of your energy on stuff that you’re done with for the day, and don’t yet need to deal with till tomorrow.
Your stress at work and school should be stress left at work or school.
Leave the Devil in Hell. He can manage without you for awhile.
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