Would a Shorter Work Week Do The Trick?

This whole journey towards FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) really has to do with changing our lifestyle and giving just just a little more time to play or do what we want instead of being stuck in the office.  Heading to the office five days a week, spending the whole time looking forward to those two days that make up the weekend, is just not a great fit for me.  Even though I get out at 4:30 every day I feel that most of the day is gone and between eating dinner and winding down for the day I don’t have enough time to do fun things.  My job is fine but I don’t love it.  And sometimes I end up mentally take the job home with me, making the day seem worse.

I think really what I need is just a little less time at work and this last weekend was a great example.  I had Good Friday off meaning I had a three day weekend.  I actually helped my sister pack and move so it wasn’t really a day full of fun stuff per se but I wasn’t in the office which was great.  Plus it was a gorgeous sunny day so the periodic trips to load the car meant little bits of sunshine which is always a nice treat.  When Saturday rolled around I still had two full days of non-work ahead.  And it was glorious!  I casually went to a Buti Yoga class on Saturday morning (my new favorite type of class) and then just did a lot of general house stuff the rest of the weekend.  Nothing about the weekend was really amazing as Mr. SFF has been fighting a cold for the past week but it was still great to just not have to work, and have two more days of it.  When I was walking to the store to get some butter for Easter dinner, sun shining brightly, I realized just how happy I was.  I had had a full three days away from the office and any stress that brings to my life had fully melted away.  It was such a great moment, even though it was so simple, because it showed me that I really don’t need to escape completely from work in order to find contentment.  I just need three day weekends so I don’t feel like I have such little time to cram everything in.

Ideally I would love to eventually take my current job down to four days per week.  This would mean we could get still employer health benefits but also give us a little lifestyle change  with longer weekends.  I could probably stick things out for another year or so, further cushioning our finances, with this new schedule.  Depending on how things go over the next 2 years I might broach my employer with this idea.  I am not sure if they would agree to this but I mean what is the worst that could happen?  They say no?  Or the let me go completely?  Oh darn!  (No tears for those scenarios).

In the meantime I might try to take some half days on Fridays just to get a jump start on my weekends.  Mr. SFF doesn’t always work full days on Fridays so it would mean either time together doing something fun or just more time to get general house stuff done so I have more free time on the weekend.  I have plenty of vacation time to use so hopefully this will help (my sanity) until we reach our goals.

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