I Need Some Time Off (ms)

There are those who will tell you that every day I go to work is really a day off. One of those is my wife who, admittedly, works much harder than I and in a profession that has infinitely more stress and responsibility than I will ever see. Our youngest son summed up what I do rather nicely one day at grade school when the teacher asked the students, “What does your father do?” There were the usual doctors, lawyers, carpenters but when they got to our son he replied in a matter of fact tone that his father rode around all day and talked to people. That was pretty close.

Given all this you understand why my wish for a day off falls on deaf ears. I get no sympathy around here but then neither do I get a day off frequently, a full day to do nothing. I’m used to it for that has been the case throughout my working life. My career required me to work on holidays and every day of the week I was scheduled even if it fell on a weekend. After a few years of that holidays aren’t seen as holidays and a Sunday might just as well be a Wednesday except there is less traffic.

Not that many years ago weekends, especially Sundays, were truly set aside as days off. Saturday was for catching up on chores about the house, doing some grocery shopping, getting a haircut. It was all done at a leisurely pace however and so the stress level was low. Everything was done by supper and Saturday evening might be spent in a movie or just on the front porch chatting. Sunday was truly a do-nothing day with church as the only appointment scheduled. There was generally a good dinner (actually served around lunch), an hour or so digesting that along with the newspaper and then maybe a visit with family or a ride out to the country for ice cream. Nothing big.

Speed the clock up and stop it at the present, all that has disappeared. We do the same things but we work hard at fitting more of them into a day and we do that both days of the weekend. The result is that instead of the leisurely pace enjoyed by our parents and grandparents we approach days off with a make or break attitude. The list is long and seems to get longer each week. Oh, forget picking up some slack during the week because there is the usual routine of the day to deal with and then you need to get to bed early because tomorrow it starts all over again.

So my point is that no matter who we are we seem to be working seven days a week and there are no real vacations because even if you go away you spend time thinking about how far behind you’re falling. Hardly seems worth the expense.

After I thought about this whole matter for a long time I concluded our son was right. Now all I need do is figure out some way to keep busy in my career field on weekends. The chores are getting to me.

–Mike Stevens

~ by admin on March 15, 2011.

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