My Hate For The Traditional 9/5

What is a traditional 9/5?

Before I talk about how My Hate For The Traditional 9/5 came about I feel the need to explain what it means in my own view. A traditional 9/5 (Which I do not like hence ‘My Hate For The Traditional 9/5’) is a job that you go to – Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. You have to be there during the stipulated time. It is a job you find no interest, in but even when you are not interested, you still go. I mean it is a job anyway and you need to put food on the table.

This job is boring but you still go to it because you need to make ends meet. It is not even something you look forward to doing, without it on your list of things to do. You are the happiest but it is a job. Who said it was supposed to be interesting? Who said a job should be exciting (Well I said so)? It’s a job and it has to feel like a job. You just have to stick to it whether you are learning or not learning anything and whether you are growing or not growing in any way, you just do your job.

In short, no growth and no interest whatsoever.

It comes as a joke

It’s something that starts as simple as a joke but like any other joke, there is some truth to it. I remember when I started with my second job as a teacher in China. Every time I spoke to my mom on the phone. I would usually joke around asking if this was what she has been doing this whole time. We would both laugh about it.

Every now and then I would bring up the topic of adulthood and work. I would usually say being an adult is weird and still laugh about it. On some days I would even go as far as saying “I don’t see myself doing this for a very long time (Chuckles).”. I guess that was my subconscious telling me that I really did not like what had become my new normal. That I needed to come up with an escape plan as time goes by or even as soon as possible.

Is there ever time for anything as a 9/5(er)?

Back to my mom. I was surprised at how she managed to look all put together in my eyes. She really nailed this. I mean she prepared supper every single evening after work without fail. We all managed to go to bed on time every single day and here I was. Not a mom, not a pet mom at least, not even a responsible plant mom – my poor little plant is dying as I am typing this.

At some point, I even attempted having a fish because I love fish. That’s most probably the only thing I could ever have as a pet. I love rabbits too but I am not so sure if could live with them. I think I am scared of them. My fish died a few weeks after I brought it home. I don’t think it was my fault though, but it still died anyway so maybe I am not that good at taking care of anything really.

I am all alone in China. With no sibling to look after but myself yet I failed so much at maintaining myself. Just something as simple as putting my life together – I failed. I couldn’t make enough time to read, enough time to simply just rest and I did not make time at all to cook after work. There was just no time.

A race against time.

I was all so new at this. Every time after work for me it became a race against time. I kept on hoping that time could just wait a little for me and just a little bit more. Wait a little more for me to get some rest even if it wasn’t going to be enough. Just simply wait for me to watch two episodes of Sex and The City after work. Wait for me to prepare a decent meal as soon as I came back home after work. Sometimes wait for me to tidy up my apartment and sometimes do my laundry and mostly get time to go to bed early. To just get enough sleep if I couldn’t go to bed early – don’t ask me how I wished that could just be possible.

And all of these hopes felt like some sort of untouchable luxury. Simply because I was and I am working 8/5. Welcome to My Hate For The Traditional 8/5 which is commonly known as  9/5 hence the title.

My job.

I work an 8/5 job that bores me, I am a kindergarten teacher. To be quiet frank, I personally don’t think I am learning anything and I do not even want to learn anything. This is my worst trait. When my mind is made up it’s really made up. I just sit there and get bored every day. The only thing that’s cute is the kids. I even started liking kids. God, how did I get here? I was put in this most comfortable uncomfortable situation to rethink my life and choices. I love being a teacher, just not being a kindergarten teacher.

This should be up as, ” One of the worst mistakes I have ever done in my 20s.” There is always a voice that comes to whisper every now and then, “Are you seriously spending your 20s doing this? Geeez Mable!”

Routine

There is absolutely nothing and nothing I hate like having the same thing to do every day – routine. It exhausts me and my ability to think. I can do it, yeah and it’s good yes but not with everything and anything every day. It could be the reason why I loved promo work so much back in University when I used to be a promoter. There was always something different. I found everything interesting every time I went to work. It was life filling. This is what I am trying to say. There is got to be a hint of something different and interesting included. I kid you not.

Waking up at the same time every day, chasing time that I don’t get to work late. Get to work – smile with the kids, write in their communication books, teach and go home. This was all my life had turned into. I hated it, I hated hated it. It left me spiritless.

But let’s be honest. Who did I have to blame for this boring routine? Myself of course. Whatever I needed to be included, “A hint of something different.” I had to add it myself. No one else was going to know what I needed but myself. Again, I had to make a plan.

Teaching rich kids

My workdays were filled with boring things to get up to that I started observing just about everything around me. I mean this was all my life was made of after all, just rather pay close attention.

First, on my list of observations. It was the luxurious cars the parents dropped off their kids at the kindergarten in. They drove me crazy. I even noticed some colours of certain cars that I had come to like (bear in mind, I am not a car fanatic – if I had to buy a car I would just get a white car) maybe because I was seeing them every day, you know how human conditioning works right. These car colours were colours that I have never thought of. I basically just found new preferred car colours and car models of course.

It was from amusement to now planning out my life from what I was seeing. I also wanted to see myself dropping my younger ones (God willingly) at a kindergarten in a luxurious car. Imagine how cool that would be without having to worry about petrol! But then again… If I am a traditional 9/5(er) will I get time to do that? When it’s school out what happens is that the luxurious cars also make a return. The most interesting thing about this was that 95% of the time the kids were getting picked up by their own parents.

Benefits of not being a traditional 9/5.

I could be crazy but what’s the possibility of a traditional 9/5 (er) fetching their child from school every day anytime before 5 pm? Through my observations, at this point. I was very much aware that these parents were not your traditional 9/5 (er)s from just this one incident. I was actually convinced.

Does this mean not being a traditional 9/5(er) gives you enough time to spend with your kids? Wait let me rephrase that, does it buy you the luxury of spending time with your kids however way you choose? Ok, I don’t have a kid. Does this mean not being a traditional 9/5 (er) would afford me the luxury of working around my schedule the way I may choose? Like set-up coffee dates at 12 noon because I can – I am not even a coffee fan. I am not sure why I chose coffee but it first came to mind so let’s use it as an example anyway.

Many more perks.

It does not end there! There would be days where we don’t see some of the kids and I would ask my co-teachers where they are. They would usually say, “Oh so and so is not coming to school this week, he is on a holiday with his parents.”. Like what? They would just say it like it’s normal to miss school for a holiday away. “Well yes, it is normal Mable. Poor child.” that would be me to me.  

I was like no man, it seems I am doing this life thing wrong. Maybe I was learning something from this job after all. That it’s not worth being a traditional 9/5 (er). I saw it and I knew that it wasn’t worth it for me.

Is it really all about the money?

 I remember this one time at work sitting after writing in the kids’ communication books. Thinking to myself, “I don’t even like any of this that I am doing. If I had money and a solid plan at this point. I would pack my bags and go back home.”. It started being about the money and it frustrated the hell out of me but I felt like there was nothing else I could do. Telling myself that I had to endure until the time arrived ( I was going to make the time arrive) didn’t really work much but I still did.

Every morning when I woke up I would stare into space and sigh to myself, “If I could get through this day…” It would be repeated over and over again. One more time and one more time until I figured something out. I was now putting myself in this uncomfortable corner where I needed to think, plan and act and even if it did not grant me the opportunity to leave my job. It was going to be better if it granted me the opportunity to break out of the hideous routine I felt trapped in.

Passion?

Maybe something like the opportunity to do something that I at least loved if not completely head over heels about. I just knew deep within the marrow of my bones that there had to be something. There is got to be something. Where there is a problem a solution exists surely. That is the main reason why the problem exists because there is a solution. With the latter stated – at this point, I was trying to console myself (Hahaha).

I have always known that I wanted to have a job that will buy me the luxury of time. At this point, I have already seen what benefits come with not being a traditional 9/5 (er). I needed to find myself in inspirational spaces. In spaces where I do things I love.

I am a complete sucker of, “Things to do in your 20s” and being employed at a job that bores the hell out of me was definitely not one of them.

Do you ever escape 9/5?

I personally don’t think you ever escape 9/5 in adulthood where there is bills and a purposeful life that needs to be lived. What I do think is that you just find a way to work around it in ways that best suit you.

Whether it’s starting your own thing or working at a company that you believe in. Where the job does not feel like too much of a job then you are a step closer to escaping the traditional 9/5. A lot of us with myself included we have been made to believe that a job has to be a job and it has to feel like a job. From this point onwards I would like to believe otherwise.

The number one reason I would vouch for the latter belief is that I have done jobs before that never really felt much like jobs. I enjoyed them, of course not every day because of people and their own feelings (who is happy every day?) but 80% of the time I was in it and happy to be in it. It is mostly because I believed in the vision of the companies I was working for. I believed in their ways of doing things. This afforded me a learning experience. I learnt things that benefited me in the future.

Tell you this, not only was I learning. I was also growing and that’s what I think that being a traditional 9/5 (er) should rather bring. A learning experience. Something within your interests that will keep you thinking, learning and growing and benefit you in the future. Being a promoter has benefited me in so many ways in life. Like having the courage to pack my bags in my mid-20s and head to a place I didn’t even know (China). I learnt that from being a promoter.

Do you finally get a breather in your own Empire?

Even in your own empire. I know that whether you are employed by someone else or you are self-employed – girl! You still need to get the job done. Chances are you get the job done even harder when you are self-employed ( I would like to think). I would also like to think that as soon as you decide to employ yourself you will be doing something that you love. Something that sets your soul on fire.

I really hope that you do choose something that makes you come alive as soon as you start your very own empire. If it’s not a matter of life and death or having the only option to put food on the table do choose something that makes you come alive. Seeing your little or big empire grow, something that makes you come alive. It’s almost guaranteed that you will be left interested in what you do. You probably wouldn’t feel trapped, spiritless and your creative juices regarding your work might just come oozing to you at full speed.

I also do understand that it won’t be every day that you feel 100% ready to face the world but there isn’t anything beautiful as waking up to do what you love. There is nothing, nothing at all! That’s one thing that keeps you going even when the going gets tough. Love, PASSION!

What I have come to know is that:

Being a 9/5 (er) at a job that bores you can box you in and make you less creative when it comes to your thoughts and implementations even hopes and goals. You could end up living for the next paycheck. Live to get through this day, the next day and that other day. I absolutely don’t think that’s what life should be made up of. A beautiful life is a life filled with interesting discoveries. Discoveries that can also leave you marvelled at what a jewel the world we live in is because it just keeps on revealing amazing wonders to us.

Leave?

LOL one last thing. The point of this was not to say leave your job. I am not leaving my job YET and maybe don’t leave yours too as yet until you have figured something out. You don’t have to have it all figured out to take the next step but just maybe have an idea. We will all get there someday. Just don’t be too comfortable. If it’s not pretty don’t chill. Sorry, even when it’s pretty take it all in just don’t ever chill too much.

I have found something more interesting to do which is this blog. It keeps me interested. I am learning and growing and it definitely does set my soul on fire while I figure things out going forth.

You will sometimes have to go through certain things. To have a personal experience so that you know that they are not for you and being a traditional 9/5 (er) is definitely not my cup of tea and I think it’s ok.

23 Responses

  1. Roro says:

    I admire your strength 🤞🏽, many of us are so scared to let go of our 9/5 because we are scared of the unknown, the fear of regret and doubt. We question ourselves whether we will be able to survive should our plans fail. I mean we have been conditioned to live a safe and less risky life by following ways of our predecessors, who are we to take risks?

    This has been a great read and motivational to some of us on the verge of taking similar paths🙏🏾

  2. Amanda says:

    I honestly feel like u had me in mind when writing this

  3. Sbongile says:

    Working 9/5 is concerning I’m doing it because it pays bills mara…. Any way I suck at updating the observation book for my learners please share the tips on how you write your observation book or communication book.

  4. Ruth says:

    Mable, this is beautiful. I love this work for you and I hope you grow your art into a master piece.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is something I’d like to find in the kind of books I read: well written, informative…. but still light, relatable with a little bit of humour in it. Most of us are stuck up and know we are in the wrong space, just hope we smell the coffee sooner than we would like ❤️….

  6. Bofelo says:

    I don’t know but this article is very hilarious yet comforting, I am glad I found you and your blog. After an emotional rollercoaster of a year I went through, I really needed this article to kickstart this year (Ooh and I’m currently reading “My not so perfect life” and I was obviously influenced by you). Thank you so much Mable.

    • I reread the article and I found it funny. Hahaha thank you so much to you too. I am glad you found it comforting. And let me know how you are finding the book!!! I am so excited for you coz that’s one of my most favourites. Let’s hope this year will be easy on the emotions. 🤍✨

  7. Khanya Gundwana says:

    Thanks for reminding me that it’s okay to not have it all figured out. That’s my biggest fear. But here’s to “Doing it anyway and failing forward”.

  8. Chariry says:

    I love you soo much…i know i made a mistake in what i studied it does’nt really set my soul on fire i just dont know how to bounce back to the real me

    • I love you too babe!!! And thank you very much for subscribing. The fact that you are aware you will surely bounce back with time. I have a guide that you receive from the second email sent to you after subscribing about, ‘How To Find Your Purpose and Intentionally Fetch Your Life.’ be on the look out for it. I hope it helps.🤍✨

  9. Zanele Ngcobo says:

    Really taking a lot from this! I am currently a student and not sure if the course I am doing sets my soul on fire😭 yes I love it but it just doesn’t have that thing…sigh

    • I totally get you babe. The fact that you know it’s not it for you means you are aware and you will find it. Just keep searching but be easy on yourself. Have you received my free guide about, ‘How To Find Your Purpose and Intentionally Fetch Your Life.’?

  10. Silence Katisi says:

    I have been going through your blog, I must say I am impressed with your writing skills. You could do well with your thesis. By the way I am also from Bolobedu. I draw inspiration from people of your calibre. Keep up the good work home girl.

  11. Mpho says:

    What a beautiful post you write so well😍❤️

  12. Tumi says:

    This blog deserves 1 million views and a pay check. Thank you so much 😊

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