Capitalism tells us to do more, to be more, to accomplish more. I’m a recovering workaholic. I know these mantras very well. Despite my external pronouncements to things like socialism, I lived a workaholic life, filled with meaningless accomplishments, often unpaid or underpaid, and always without healthcare. I didn’t internalize the “loser life” until very recently–within the past few months, in fact.
It was when my counselor–who is very excellent at what she does–told me that she only works part-time and that women trying to “have it all” was doing women a disservice that I opened my mind to setting limits, “accomplishing” less, and focusing more on my physical and psychological health.
If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know that I have interviewed people on anti-careerism, have written about UBI–and more. These are recent developments for me–and even more recent is putting them into practice.
Why should we have to work in order to receive health care? Why should we be forced to work 40+ hours per week to barely get by? What kind of backward nation are we that people who set mental and physical health limits are considered losers? What kind of country shames people for getting food stamps? What kind of country forces people to work in order to get Medicaid? What kind of country saddles students with insurmountable debt just for going to college?
A very capitalist country, it turns out. You may disagree with me on my economic views, but it’s hard to disagree with the empirical data I’ve recently posted, such as working 40 hours a week being bad for your mental health.
My counselor is a wise woman. I trust her and take her advice. She is a role model for mental health for me. If she only works part-time, why are people with severe illnesses working full-time?
We need to make modifications in our policies, yes. But we also need to modify our own wants and desires.
And, thus, I hereby claim the term “loser” from it’s terrible, horrible, capitalist roots. And, with that, I leave you with this song: