“A new survey found that a growing number of millennials want to work from home and get more time off. They would’ve said more but they had to go pick up their gold star for participating in that survey.” ~ Jimmy Fallon
I am a huge fan of The Tonight Show. And I totally get the joke.
Millennials, people born between the 1980’s and the early 2000’s, are notoriously known for being lazy and unmotivated, often spoiled and unappreciative of how easy they have it.
I am 30 years old, born in 1984, and a Taurus millennial. My parents have given me a lot throughout my life, for better or for worse. Only in the last couple years have I taken complete financial responsibility for myself and it hasn’t been easy considering I wasn’t provided with a lot of skills around how to create a stable and healthy financial life.
I think a lot of baby boomers (our parents) who grew up in homes where there was hardly any money (because there were so many children and most of the parents had modest, blue-collar jobs), had a dream of providing something better for their children. They wanted a life without struggle. As a result, we have millennials.
But I think something interesting has come from this new generations’ perspective on work. Most of the people around my age that I identify with, don’t live to work, they work to live. And the work that we are choosing is centered around things that we enjoy doing. We are committed to choosing jobs that we love because we know that the idea of retirement is a joke and that Social Security as we know it today will likely not exist by the time we’re in our 60’s.
We know that humans were not made to sit at a desk for eight hours a day. We are not meant to work a job that we hate for 30+ years with the wild expectation that when we retire, we’re then going to live for another 30 years, rolling in all the money that we need. Our loved ones are dying of cancer, our modern-day plague, at young ages, and we don’t see the point of wasting the prime of our life at work, waiting to die. We should live now, while we’re healthy, and not be slaves to a 50-hour work week.
Hunter gatherers worked a few hours every day. The industrial revolution promised more productivity and less work. The same was true for the technological boom. Instead, we’re working more than we ever have before. There’s something seriously wrong with this situation.
Why is it viewed as “spoiled” and “lazy” to want time off? Our culture has a warped understanding of the balance of work and rest. This millennial crusade is really about creating a sustainable and healthy quality of life.
And what are we millennials doing with our time off? Sure, some of us are enjoying a lot of cannabis, but we’re also going on amazing trips, learning about the world, taking our dogs on beautiful hikes, creating incredible art and spending more time with our babies so that we can raise a mindful generation. This is living! And we all deserve to live and do what we love. Not just millennials, but everyone.
I think the mantra of this generation is to be present. The past is finished and the future is unknown. All we have is right now and we have to take advantage of this miracle, this privilege, this incredible opportunity to live today. And yes, that does involve some work, but it shouldn’t take up the majority of our lives or make us resentful, tired, sick and dead inside.
Oh, to be Young.
Author: Megan Ridge Morris
Editor: Catherine Monkman
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