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U.S. work is more stressful
You're right. I used to be like the other over-stressed people in this thread. Then one of the start-ups I worked for hit, and I had the money to take a real sabbatical -- a whole year off, traveling around the world. For the first time ever, I was exposed to life and work in countries where 60-80 hour workweeks aren't "expected", and where business DOES accommodate people's real lives. In the 10 years since, I've gone back to working hard when I'm in the office -- and turning off the cell phone, leaving the laptop at home, and enjoying life when I'm not. I still earn a six-figure income, and my blood pressure at 53 is the same as it was when I was 25. I look and feel much younger than my peers, and it's simply because I finally learned the joys of downtime. By the way, I negotiate my vacation time before I accept a new job -- they meet my terms, or I don't take the job. My husband is a university professor, so we take our time off for 8 weeks in the summer, plus 2 weeks at Christmas, and 1 week in the spring and fall -- for a total of 12 weeks (60 work days) a year. I trade cash (lower salary) for the time off. It's a wonderful compromise, and I highly recommend it to anyone!