Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Crazy Rat Race Part 1

The Daily Punishment

It was late March and I was finally at a point of being offered two jobs after about four months of a difficult job search. One of the recruiters repeatedly told me that having multiple offers was always a good problem to have. Of course it was, but it was a dilemma and involved making a huge decision. 


Job 1, large company, better pay, better benefits but a much longer commute. Job 2, private company, known for its work and life balance, short commute, much lower pay. As far as advancement went, it was not one of the things I cared too much about, as I was ready to retire within the next 5 years (or less). After a long and hard weekend, the we decided on taking the longer commute job, mostly because to its better benefits. So that started the daily commute of 90 miles / 3 hours, AKA the Daily Punishment.


Mr Y had been doing that long commute for more than 6 years already, since we always lived closer to my work. There were no plans to move closer to work, as purchasing a new house would require a significantly large amount of funding. We believed that the capital should be better used in investing and helping us achieve our goal in life faster. 


To be able to ride the train together made the commute slightly better and much more bearable. I saw many of same people on the train, day after day, and wondered how long they had been doing the commute and how long they would continue to do it. Seeing people in their late 50s and 60s and still wasting 3 hours of their lives every day going into work and making money seemed absurd. We are commuting for now, but it will be for the short term. I do not plan on doing the crazy commute for more than 5 years. I did a little math in my head:


Morning commute - 1.5 hours from house to office.

Work 8 hours
Evening commute - 1.5 hours from office to house.

Sleep 8 hours


That totals to about 19 hours of my day. I only have about 5 hours left to spend on eating, showering, and cooking, among other things. That is really not a lot of time left. 


In the short term it might be ok. Doing this forever will not make any sense, eventually when we have kids. The purpose of having a job is to make your life better so you can spend the time not working with the ones you love, not on a train.

Most of us do not think about our time on earth being limited, but it really is. Let's hope our plan for that long commute won't last too long and the Daily Punishment ends within our target date.

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