Quit Bringing the Devil Home With You

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.

stress at workI’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.

My home.

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.

Just don’t.

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.


Share and comment below.  It’s been known to relieve stress.  Not as much as whiskey, but whatever.

5 Responses to Quit Bringing the Devil Home With You

  1. Udo says:

    It’s hard for me to keep school at school because you could be studying 24/7. There is always a moment you COULD be doing something for school and that just stressed me out (still does) to no end. I didn’t know how to compartmentalize my life and I still haven’t figured it out. I gave up on trying. If I have a problem at home, it affects my school/work. If I have a problem at school, it affects my home life. Everything in my life comes together and relies on each other. So its easy for me to get stressed out.

    • Adam Austyn says:

      Oh yeah, Udo, it’s damn hard, that’s for sure. College is so much different though, cause you never do quite leave it, but neither do you ever feel like you GO to it either (like high school, which is more the “school” I was talking about, where going feels like heading to prison time for most, and very different than your personal time, haha). So probably you don’t need all that much work on it at all, I’d guess. Cause stressing about homework, and exams, and stuff is dang inevitable, as is working on it outside of class, of course. I just always hated bringing the OTHER stuff home and worrying about it – the gossip, what someone said or did to me, etc (the social aspect of it, the politicking, that doesn’t help your fun or relaxation at home, or your studying or work at home either).

      Thanks for stopping by, Udo! Appreciate it…

  2. downfromtheledge says:

    “When I leave work, I leave fucking work.” I’ve been forced to listen to certain people’s (hi mom) work-bitching for more years than I can stand. A ways back I made it clear that I no longer had the tolerance to listen. Rattle off a quick complaint, then let it go: fine. But don’t continually inflict your re-hashing on innocent victims.

    Not saying I’m perfect. “Why in the world, then, would I spend my time AFTER work talking about it, complaining about it, worrying about it?” I now ask myself this question before I decide if it’s actually going to HELP me to get something off my chest.

    On a side note…I don’t think men do this as much to begin with.

    • Adam Austyn says:

      Haha yeah I’d totally agree that girls probs do it more. But you’d be surprised. I have some friends who all have similar accounting jobs but for different firms, and when we hang out they, for at least some amount of time, talk about…freaking accounting. Horrible.

    • Hippie says:

      This is a most useful corittbunion to the debate

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