I am a big believer in days off. As someone who gets overwhelmed far more easily than she cares to admit, occasional days off are crucial to one’s sanity/well-being. I believe this is a key factor in why I landed in rehab; several years without a single day off made me lose my marbles. Large quantities of liquor was just a coping mechanism for functioning under tremendous levels of stress for years with untreated depression and no breaks. That’s just basic math.
Kids, listen up:
Untreated Depression + Tremendous Levels of Stress + No Break = Too Much Alcohol.
Now that equation would’ve been helpful to learn in grade school. I should teach math.
So after the WEEK FROM HELL last week (see here, here, here and here. Also my car got egged and now it smells like egg because some got in the air vents so I had to buy a ton of air freshener to mask the smell of egg), plus a Saturday of cleaning and running errands all day and then coming home in pain from over-exerting the rib muscle (I’m naming it “Freida”), I decided that I would do nothing on Sunday except crochet and watch all the television I’ve missed out on this past year.
I got through almost the entire first season of New Girl - a show I’d been meaning to watch since it first aired like a year ago - The Holiday, and a whole skein of yarn for the infinity scarf I’m making.
Man I needed that.
In fact, I did almost nothing on Sunday. Sure, I managed to change the sheets and coach Mike through a pizza-making crisis and help put up the Christmas lights because someone has to hold up the scary-ass ladder while my husband defies gravity to get the lights attached to our insanely high Edwardian roof-line. Other than that though, I did nothing.
I even took this doing-nothing project so far as to not write a blog post last night.
*GASP,* and the earth stood still and angels wept in their golden towers while there was much gnashing of teeth.
I just KNOW you all were weeping, too. My poor little chipmunks.
My sense of duty and commitment almost prevented me from taking this much-needed break, but I remembered just in the nick of time that breaks are necessary to mental health and conducive to great work. Had I written a post, it doubtless would’ve sucked big time, and I decided no post was better than a crappy post about how many tiny creatures my cat kills in a week’s time/or similar.
I feel very refreshed now, thanks for noticing.
Lately I’ve been feeling
slightly very irritated with American culture (yes, I get irritated with my culture rather frequently; why, is that weird?). There is such a bias toward business and such a dismissal of American quality of life, that breaks are looked upon as signs of weakness/laziness. I mean, I work NON-STOP, as I know most of you do too (especially parents – PLUS you’re subjected to all that terrible children’s television programming, so you get bonus suffering points).
I also know that all other developed nations have a much higher quality of life than Americans – not only have I read about it, I’ve seen it, so I’m not just talking out of my butt here. Not that I ever do that. Anyway, I’ve been to other countries. Mike’s Australian cousins get a full month of paid vacation. I’m sorry to whine, but I don’t even get a full week of vacation – I get six days of what’s called Paid Time Off, which means vacation time and sick time are one and the same. So if I get sick, I get no vacation. Which basically means I get no vacation. Unless I volunteer for a pay-cut, or imagine that week with the sinus infection was a Caribbean cruise…
I once read that Americans do not know how to enjoy life – they work themselves to the bone, and then crash in front of the TV in a zombie-like state of exhaustion and recover just enough to return to work and repeat the cycle. I can confirm that this is the case, excepting a few hard-working robots I know who don’t need breaks, they just recharge their batteries with rum and Cokes and/or massive doses of Red Bull and/or cocaine and/or voodoo. I don’t understand these people.
So Mike and I are looking into moving to another country. He favors Costa Rica, and I still won’t give up the dream of living in France. No, I don’t have a specific city in mind, anywhere will do at this point as long as I can have a freshly baked croissant for breakfast every day.
In the mean-time, I will make up poems for the cause.All we need is a break
Just a rest for goodness sake
Our bones so weary
Our minds are leery
Of jobs where we get no cake.
I have been feeling very in touch with my social activist side lately, have you noticed? There’s even a new blogging category “Damn the Man,” which totally makes up for those years in college when I cared about nothing but getting good grades and paying my bills.
Man I was a boring young adult.
I guess the list of shit I’m willing to put up with just shortens every day.
What’s on your list of shit-you-don’t-put-up-with? Mine includes food with GMO’s, dog slobber and littering, among other things.