On Hump Day
We’ve all heard about the infamous hump day.
The middle of the week, the half-way point in the 5 days we have to do to support the 2 days we want to do. Hump day is a fairly modern concept and if I’m honest, I believe it is a needless one.
noun (North American) informal
Wednesday, regarded as the midpoint of a typical working week.“it’s hump day and perhaps the toughest day of the week for you”
The term “hump day” ties a deep-seated sense of relief to every single Wednesday. For those of us lucky to work in a conventional structure of 0900-1700, Monday through Friday, Wednesday represents the “worst” of the week being over and a sign of yet another impending weekend. It represents the epitome of living five days for the sake of two.
But I take some issue with this logic.
Maybe the idea of a higher purpose seems too airy-fairy and vague for you. Maybe you believe that work is something you should suffer through, to facilitate the living of a life in evenings and weekend. Maybe in some cases, that can be considered necessary.
But the strengths of the youth of today is in time and mobility. You don’t need to be a millionaire to be able to go and explore the world, move to another country or even continent to study or pursue a job opportunity. The world has become very, very small over the past 50 years. Travel is cheaper and more accessible than it’s ever been, employment levels are high and the future is changing more rapidly than ever. What this means for any person with drive and determination is that there is opportunity to be found. As long as you have the desire to claim it.
There are two ways that people can distance themselves from the hump day logic, and they work in completely opposite ways. Two loose categorisations which I draw to distinguish various career types.
The first of which is centralisation of life around work. A few different types of people fit into this category, often the vocational careers. People in the military, law enforcement, public service, the health and dental services and other civil service careers fit in here, as well as contract workers, mariners, power station workers and any of the type who work a fixed-time-period on for a similar fixed-time-period off.
These are the type of people who most readily identify with the question “What do you do?” Their career is often of a vocational nature, one that they are to some degree passionate about or see the merits of in a non self-centred manner.
Then there is those who decentralise life from work. Many of the conventional 9-5 jobs come under this category, office work, jobs where the title may not have been in existence 50 years ago. I am generalising with regards to the job types, but the premise stands regardless of what specific job the individual does.
One solution is that you can make work a central point of not just your life but your being, and associate with the work that you do in a personal context. This means that you enjoy or glean satisfaction from what you do Monday to Friday to a sufficient enough level that the weekend is just another day, a continuation of the week. Your routine encompasses your job to such an extent that it fits in with who you are, and what you’re passionate about (which is a much better question than what do you do!).
Then there is the decentralisation tactic – this may fit best in the immediate term for those who are dissatisfied with their employment. This requires not just living for the weekend, but living for the things that you are truly passionate about and love to do, be that the football club you train with each evening or the books you read before you go to bed. Not just the weekend, but every day, becomes about these other moments. It becomes almost a zombie-like existence of detaching from your days tasks.
Sadly enough this is a state that many people find themselves fallen into, and this in my eyes truly means settling. I believe that we should all be striving to be in the first category at the very least, where we glean satisfaction to enough of a level that Wednesday no longer bears any significance in our week. Well, beyond that of being the day after Tuesday or the day before Thursday, that is.
A working career is a period of time spent trading your time for someone else’s money, and that’s a losing trade. Money is an infinite and renewable resource, printed by the government – your time is not. You can’t get it back, or buy more. Make sure you draw enough satisfaction from how you spend your time that you can reside in the former camp, enjoy each day of your life without longing for the weekend and associate proudly with your job for as long as you choose to do it.