Monday, March 31, 2014

#PaychecktoPaycheck Will The Struggle Ever End?

Eight hours a day is given to work. For some people, more hours are done in hopes that after that full two weeks the paycheck will have a lot more to bring into their household. We have to work. Many of us would love to take long vacations or quit our jobs just to get some clarity. The reality is many of us find it hard to find that quality time outside of work. Instead of living the American dream, we give our most to that 9 to 5 and then use the money to make sure bills are paid.

There's a documentary out right now called "Paycheck to Paycheck" on a woman named Katrina Gilbert who works hard, supports her kids, and lives paycheck to paycheck. I haven't watched the full documentary yet, but Oprah did a town hall episode that gave a voice to people living in poverty.

The first up was Katrina. She spoke a little more about her life and what she learned from watching the documentary. Her lesson was that she is a much better mom than she initially thought of herself. However, her struggles weren't the only thing that she focused on. In the documentary there is a scene where Katrina gets her hair done. She works hard, makes sure her children are taken care, makes her patients feel good, and treats herself also. Upon talking about that scene in the documentary, Maria Shriver (The Shriver Report) said some people were actually upset that a woman struggling would take out the time to make a hair appointment. I don't get why anyone would be disappointed in her trying to take out time for herself.

The phrase for taking care of yourself while doing what you have to do is called work-life-balance. Oprah mentioned this phrase and work-life-survival during the episode. However, having that balance between working hard and enjoying life is so important to each and everyone one of us.

The next woman that spoke on her story also had an activity to keep herself level headed. This woman is currently in school, married, has six children in the house, and her family is living on $20,000 a year. Her husband admitted to feeling depressed because as soon as he receives his paycheck it is used to pay bills. His motivation to move forward is his wife. Although they are struggling, his wife volunteers at an unemployment office. She mentioned that she does it because, giving other people hope to live better helps her appreciate her life that much more.

I wish we could change this paycheck situation. It has been discussed since the beginning of time. The minimum wage problem has been talked about so much that it should have double by now. However, instead it hovers around $8.00 an hour (just a little more than it was a couple years ago). If we wan't automatically change our paycheck problems, the least we can do is try to balance work with living.

Too many of us are just trying to make it day to day. It doesn't have to be getting your hair done or volunteering. It can be whatever makes you happy.

(I'd love to travel to specific places, but just being able to take walks gives me some peace. I've also found peace in sitting at a restaurant and eating alone, going to the moves alone, and writing. Sometimes I do beat myself up for the moments of self indulgence, but no one else is making me feel special. )

No comments :

Post a Comment