I really do live for vacations. It's the thought that I'll eventually be off again that keeps me going in the first place. Not the hope that I'll be first on the team, or that I'll get a salary hike next month (well, maybe that too!).
How far along can you go without a break? And I'm not counting weekends here. Those are the breaths of fresh air mandatory for your survival in this wicked work world, where you break through the surface at the end of every week to grab the life-giver.
Cynically, weekends are the days you're given off to recuperate so you can work the next week to the "best of your capacity". Don't for a second think they're actually wishing you a good weekend when Friday comes round the corner.
Weekends or week-offs (if you're one of those unfortunate souls who slog a six-day week) are the days unofficially assigned to you to finish your laundry pile-up, pay your bills, explain your late nights to your landlord, and cook for the rest of the next seven days. That's the only time you work for yourself. The days when you're the boss, not counting the landlord of course, and the state of your house clearly tells how much of a boss you are.
Too bad for those several years and a couple of kids into a marriage, where wifey dear is undoubtedly boss of home and hearth. For those, like me, sworn to a life away from home with room mates and flatmates, landlords and neighbours, it's the tussle to keep everyone happy including yourself, the hope that you'll make it through the week without a complaint that you left the gate open and the dogs came in, or the pulling of lots and unspoken authority on who should clean the dismembered rat lying outside your front door.
I've seen shared houses where logs on the wall spell out chores for the week down to who pays for the milk on which days. Horrible stories of money-hungry roomies and landlords who stake out lobbies and kitchens reminding you day after day that you owe something to someone. Worse, stories of how roomies are tricked into paying for another's bed and breakfast.
Strangely enough, it's an interesting world. One that you can get tired of easily, hate all-at-once, but never really escape. I suppose it's the human obsession with the fact that one must belong - to a family, to friends, lovers, spouses, God, past, present or future. It would be so easy to just float into oblivion. But then, would you belong to oblivion?
As I said, I belong to vacations. It's the closest to oblivion for me. I can leave the dirt of office politics and forced ethics behind and get to a time that I designed. No work, no laundry, no schedules, no tempered expressions.