While ticking off another thing on my to-do list tonight, I had the TV going in the background, and a Mastercard commercial came on, advertising that Mastercard has a site you can visit that will help plan your next vacation. The whole theme behind the commercial was around kids demanding that their parents actually take a vacation, asking questions like, did you know that the average American does not use up all of his/her vacation days in one year? That’s paid time off that is not even taken off! It’s wasted. What is wrong with all of you? You’re supposed to be my role models in life!
The United States is known as a country of infinite possibilities, the land of opportunity, the place where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and achieve as much as he/she possibly can. But there’s a tradeoff to being here: you’re considered lazy or unambitious in general if you are the kind of person who actually makes it evident that you enjoy taking time off, or the kind of person who thinks that taking “just” five consecutive days off of work at one time is too short. We’re brainwashed into thinking that we should be working our lives away, that our lives should be work. Because what is life outside of work, anyway — nothing, right? If you aren’t doing paid work at an office or a grocery store or unpaid work by taking care of your children, you must be doing nothing with your life. It’s why you always hear inane stories of people finally reaching retirement and then getting depressed or bored because they have no idea what to do outside of “work.” How about — enjoy life and do things you actually want to do, not just things you need to do to survive and put food on your dinner table?