My break is unfortunately coming to a close. I think I better understand vacations, now. And why vacations are one of the most important things in peoples’ lives.
I think it can be assumed that the majority of people dislike their jobs. This makes me think that people look forward to time off, and live for the time they can spend doing whatever they wish. Whether it be spending time with family, getting away, or just spending time in solitude. People see this as time better spent than working or going to school or whatever it is that they’re being forced to do. That’s why overtime payment is so much larger than a regular wage.
Vacations are so vital to the lives of humans. I believe it symbolizes hope. The hope that, one day, we will get to spend our time how we want it. Not like we are now. Not living in a societal prison, where we do what we do just because it’s what we’re supposed to do. And if we don’t, we won’t have any chance at a happy life. We will end up without money, friends, family or any kind of freedom.
When a father must work long hours every day to supply his family with necessities, he is sad. Proud that he is doing his job as a loving father, but not completely happy because he’s not able to see his children or his wife. It’s not selfish. It’s a sad feeling he must feel. Not able to spend as much time with his loved ones as he would like. But when he has time off, whether it be a weekend or a vacation, he seems truly happy. He gets to spend time with his family. Which is the activity that he probably enjoys most in his life.
This is the reason people see retirement as a sort of promised land. It’s seen as an achievement. People think that if they can just put in their work for however-many-years, they can be happy and free. This, to me, is a sad realization that it will be a while, if ever I get to all of my time to myself. I wonder to myself how lifestyles like this came to be. Why is our civilization so fast paced and focused on “success” and not on more important things?
I want to travel. I want to read. I want to learn about people, places, things from experiences. I want to learn history of people from the mouths of those very people. I want to see how others live. I want to have real relationships with people. I want to have a lasting marriage with someone that loves me unconditionally and that I feel the same way about.
But I’m restricted from doing these things as of now. I don’t have the resources to travel. I don’t have time to do these other things. I’m unable to fulfill the others. And these are just a few things. Sure, one day I will be able to do some of these things. Like the marriage one. That one is very realistic. But it certainly can’t happen while I’m in college. Not only is it looked down upon, barring a miracle I would never have the money. And yeah, I’ll get to travel. And right now is the point of my life where I’ll have the most time to do what I like, such as travel. But once again, I don’t have the money now. And later when I have money, I won’t have time. Except for on vacations. Or if I make it to retirement with enough money to supply my travels. Vacations let me see a glimpse of these things, reviving my hope each time. But then I must get back to real life and see that there are other things I must accomplish before I can move onto more enjoyment.
Obviously these things are all possible. But society makes them harder to accomplish than they should be. Why must a career come before other things that should be priorities? Why must life be so fast paced? It’s unnecessary.
I would much rather stay at home and spend time with my family and friends that I miss than head back to university and take classes that I don’t enjoy. And spend money I don’t have on said classes. This is obvious, and I think everyone in similar situations to me feel the same way. Alas, I cannot do this. I must get a job and do my best to be “successful” in life. I put success in quotes because society sees it as such a different thing than I do. Society’s “success” beast that they created is founded on how much money someone can make, how big their house is, how expensive their car was, etc. But I don’t need money. I don’t need that stuff. Why is life focused on that stuff?
I know my points about my life are melodramatic and this may come off as annoying, but it’s something I think every person deals with. It seems like a serious pandemic when thought of on a larger scale of every person’s life. So much time of every person’s life is focused on making money, working, etc. (you get my point about on what most of person’s time is spent, so I shouldn’t have to list more). Every person, it seems, is forced to jump through hoops to attain some free time to take their family on a picnic, go hiking, go to New York to the theatre, go on a cruise with a spouse, coach a child’s sports team, go on a road trip across the country, do urban exploration, or any other choice activity.
I fully understand I have a good life. I’m very blessed. I have all the things needs. But it just feels like I live in a machine sometimes. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks this. There are very few people who, when given the choice, would choose go to work rather than do one of the many activities I listed above. And, of course, I know I’m not the only one who’s thought this.
And I want it to be clear that I do enjoy my life. And I realize all I have. I’m lucky to grow up in the greatest country in the world. The greatness is of course linked with it’s freedom. So many people don’t the freedom that America provides. But maybe we’re missing out in a freedom by being taught that success is the point of life and we must achieve it.
This was a good break. I’m glad I got to experience it. I am sad that I must go back to class tomorrow. But it’s something that I must do. Just like you will go to class. Or go to work. Or do whatever it is you must do to get to your next vacation.