July 5th, 2012 by CrispRoot
Happy belated 4th of July, Y’All. A day late, but better late than never, right? I hope everyone had fun, ate some great summer-holiday type food – healthy, hopefully, since there’s more and more healthy good tasting options out there – and then watched an awesome fireworks display.
Sure, you could take some vacation time – and I’d bet many did. Or, your employer might have given you an extra day or two off. But for most, it was “one and done”. OK, yes, that makes for a nice work week – work two days, day off, work two days, weekend. But, if you wanted to go somewhere for the 4th, without some extra time off, that wasn’t happening.
I’m not saying make the 4th into a Monday holiday like all our other patriotically based holidays are. In fact, that’s even more of my point – on any of the Monday holidays, even with it being a three day weekend, if you went anywhere – you’re traveling on the holiday to get back home. What kind of holiday is that?
All this got me thinking – Americans are perceived to be a lazy bunch, work-wise, compared to the rest of the world. Too laid back, not dedicated to the job. I’m here to tell you, that’s a serious misconception. In truth, Americans get fewer holidays and far less vacation time than the workers in just about any Western country you’d care to name, and a few others as well.
Here’s just one example: Were you aware that large chunks of Europe take an entire month off each summer? Not many Americans realize that, and I guarantee you, even fewer have a similar benefit.
How about smart phones? How big a piece of the American population has a smart phone these days – a goodly percentage, right? OK… and how many of you use your smart phone on the weekend, or while on vacation – not for yourself, but for work? You know, to check emails or the status of that important project that might crash and burn? Yeah, you say it will only take a minute, but suddenly you realize it took you hours. Meanwhile, your family and your life are put on hold. Not good, Y’All, not good at all… nor is it particularly healthy.
Yeah, I’m the pot calling the kettle black here – I’ve done those very things, to the detriment of my family – and ultimately, to the detriment of myself.
So, I say nuts to the world and the perception with which they’ve guilted us. It’s time to take our lives back, one small gesture at a time. So, on this Day After Independence Day, I say we do just that. We need July 5th to be “Independence Day II” – to declare independence from our never-ending belief that work will grind to a halt if we’re not checking in on it 24/7/365. From now on, July 5th should be a holiday tacked on to the 4th, and on this one day a year, we should all vow to leave the smart phone off, to not check emails, to not peek in on that project… in other words, to get our lives back – and to remember what’s really important.
Once you try it, and see what you’ve been missing – you just might make it a year-round habit… and that, my friends, wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.