The Cat Lady’s day off. Not to be confused with Ferris Bueller.

Yes, my day off included a Ferrari and Alan Ruck, too.

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.

“…Europe’s a little easier. They seem to understand a little better. So does South America. I went to Argentina one time, and everyone seemed to be sitting around. It was beautiful.”

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Comments

The Cat Lady’s day off. Not to be confused with Ferris Bueller. — 13 Comments

  1. I love your poem! Hope you get to another country one day. Australia sure does sound nice right now. :)

    Shit I don’t put up with: throwing away recyclables and people who linger too long up in my personal space…seriously, take a step back peeps! I don’t need to feel your breath on my face as we speak.

  2. I’m glad you took some time away. For some reason there is this theory among bloggers that blogging everyday is necessary for google recognition. So they just keep pumping out average or bad content (which is the real google rank killer).

    Somehow, you’ve been able to put out quality posts at a high rate, which is a testiment to your unique voice. But it’s never bad to sit back and recharge those creative synapses.

    I, for one, would get incredibly annoyed at French culture (although in fairness to the Frenchies, they would absolutely hate me). Maybe it’s because I’m a history major, and their history sucks.

    • But the food, Chris, the food! ;)
      And I sort of like their history, because it’s entertaining, like a soap-opera of chaos and terrible monarchs…
      I know, I know, blogging success doesn’t depend on a post every day – I am kind of like Rain Man in that I set a schedule and I stick to it, come sickness or hell or high water. It’s a mental block. Plus I don’t want to be accused of *gasp* flakiness, the typical affliction of the Los Angeles native.

  3. Good for you!! Your “day off” sounds a lot like my days off, packed full of doing anything but doing nothing, but nevertheless relaxing and heavenly. Honestly I try to take atleast 2.5 days off a week- and they hardly ever coincide neatly with Dan’s days off or a “normal” work schedule… my Piscean sign makes me overly sensitive to overwhelm and chaos and if I don’t set aside days to simply do the things that restore my soul and give me the feeling that things are in order (even if it’s cleaning the house or running errands) I an prone to full-blown meltdowns over the dumbest things. I’ve found simply taking a half day or a few hours off work and commitments is easier than explaining my crazy nervous breakdowns to my husband.

    P.S. Dan and I have been working on our master plan to get to New Zealand since last March. They get a minimum of 6 weeks off a year and they are desperately seeking young, healthy skilled “migrant workers” (teachers, nurses, software programmers, construction workers) because so many people have moved to Australia or Europe to the US. NZ by 2015! :) http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/work/skilledmigrant/default.htm

    • OH MY GOSH what a great plan! NZ by 2015!! You’ve sold me on it.

      And thank you for making me feel better about my need for days off. I too need moments of calm for my soul, and it blows me away that not everyone acknowledges this as a need. People like to dismiss emotional and spiritual health, but it’s just as important as physical health.

  4. My boss, who is a workaholic, loves to make subtle digs that I’m lazy. When I think about my insane amount of side projects this makes me laugh. Oh well. Id like to be in Spain or south America someday, they know how to live!

    • I know!! When I get home from work, I work some more at what I consider my “real” career. There’s more to life than work…
      And I have always wanted to go to Spain. It’s high on my where-to-next list. Then I can finally fit in with my lispy Spanish, for which I get made fun of at work.

  5. Glad you took your day off. You really need a few!

    I didn’t know Mike was related to some Aussies – I feel even more stalker-connected now! :)

    We get four weeks of paid holiday a year (not necessarily all at once!), which accumulate if you don’t use them, and ten paid sick days per year which don’t accumulate. That is the minimum standard. Depending on where you work as to whether you get more. My mother’s job gives her six weeks. And we get paid maternity leave. And quite a few public holidays. We still complain though.

    Sorry. COME LIVE HERE. (Autocorrect changed that to “come love here”, which is fine as well)

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