Having lots of free time sucks

If idle hands are the devil’s playground, I’m see-sawing with Satan right now and hating it

By Rachel Braeuer
Photos by Ben Buckley

Sixteen hour work days, seven days a week for two months with a week or two of rest may sound like hell to most people, but to me it sounds like the ideal schedule.

A lot of my friends have graduated and lead normal adult lives where they go to work for a reasonable amount of hours every day, and come home to do just enough self-care and household tasks to keep up to date and sane before awaking the next day to have a balanced breakfast and do it all over again. I don’t get how they do it.

Does updating the world with every instance of your daily progress help? Maybe, it sure seems to. I feel like I’m bombarded daily with all of my friends’ “achievements.” “Cleaned the house, made dinner, read half my book and in bed ready to take on the world again tomorrow!”

While fulfilling a month in one go because you managed to cram a month’s worth of cleaning into one day is dandy, shit like that just doesn’t cut it for me on the daily. It’s not that wearing clean clothes isn’t a worthwhile pursuit, it’s just that if it’s not a challenge, who cares? I can’t just do laundry, I need to do the laundry olympics ten hours before I get on a flight for which I’ve yet to pack. Only then is it worthy of my time.

I handed in my last paper a few weeks ago, and while the first bit of doing basically nothing except watching shitty TV, going to the gym in some sad attempt to make up for the last half a decade, and drinking too much on the weekends was fun, I’m now finding myself with a lot of free time and not enough worthwhile activities to cram into that time. This would make most people rejoice. Me? I’m miserable and don’t want to complete the few must-do’s still present in my life.

For the last seven years I’ve been working at least one job and going to school. At the most, I was working three jobs, paying for school, rent, car insurance and expenses out of pocket and sleeping about five hours a night, and frankly I liked it that way. There was no room for error or self-doubt, there was no “last minute” because there were no spare minutes to waste to begin with.

There wasn’t even a question of making a schedule. I got shit done because I had to.

Self-care involved singing loudly to my favourite songs while washing the dishes. Alone time was grocery shopping at 11:30 at night, roaming the aisles free of the idiots who drive grocery carts as well as their SUV’s and whose shitty babies were at home, getting ready for another day of screaming in public while their parent(s) texted their friends about how much they accomplished that day.

I don’t just wear the proverbial hair shirt, I made it myself on my lunch break while also reading some Judith Butler.

You might read this and think I’m crazy, and honestly you’re probably right. I should be enjoying all of my new freedom to its fullest. I’m sure some of you reading this would kill to have my “problems,” but I’d kill to have yours. Freaky Friday, anyone?

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