I Believe in a Fourty Hour Workweek

Brittany - West Liberty, Kentucky
Entered on April 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work

This I Believe

I believe in a forty-hour workweek. These days, people seem to be working entirely too much. It seems as if half the people on the planet are slowing killing themselves by working too much. My dad is one of those people. Typically, he puts in a fifty to sixty-hour workweek. For several months he has been extremely sick with stomach problems such as ulcers, and we thought the stress and exhaustion from work was the problem. The last couple of weeks he was feeling sick to the point that he could barely stand up strait; he put me in mind of an eighty year old man the way he would hunch over when he walked and protected his midriff area with his arms. Finally, a few days ago, he collapsed. His fragile body finally gave out.

We found out he has diabetes. Everyone in my family was a little confused. My dad gets plenty of exercise and he eats a low-fat diet. The problem stemmed from a combination of genetics and the fact that he would go too long of a time without eating. There were days that he would have too much to do at work, so he would skip lunch, or be too exhausted at night and fall asleep before eating supper. There were WAY too many days such as those.

He has been in the hospital for a few days, and seemed to be feeling better, so I was giving him the speech about how he works too much and doesn’t take care of himself. He looked at me and said, “Brittany, you’re in no position to lecture me. You have two jobs, five classes, help take care of your grandma, and you mange to keep up your own house. I’m sure your workweek adds up to as much, if not more than mine.” I guess I hadn’t realized it before, but I suppose I truly am my father’s daughter. I just sat there and thought about what he said for awhile.

Later that night, as I was driving home, I was thinking about my dad, and how ragged his poor body looks. My dad and I have had so many problems; I’ve tried so hard to not be like him. I don’t have any kids yet, but I do have other family, and I don’t want them to feel that they aren’t important. I can’t remember the last time I spent the day fishing with my cousins like I used to.

I think we are all guilty of pushing too far sometimes, but it is not worth it. That’s why I believe in a forty-hour workweek. That is plenty enough to make an honest living, and still actually LIVE. I plan on trying to get close to a forty hours a week myself, and hope my dad will follow my example.