Wise Up And Take Time For Yourself

May 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

The below CNN.com post discusses vacation or lack off in the United States.  I love the post because it gives statistics to a subject I’ve written quite a bit about.

Somehow somewhere the idea of happiness and accomplishment in the US became tied up with work.  Here we wear multi-tasking and working seven days a week as a badge of honor.  Here always being plugged in makes us feel important or needed.

I wonder if in this country’s past history, a group of men got together and said: “How do we make people work around the clock – without them thinking about it – so we can make tons of money? Let’s convince them, they will be seen as respectable and dependable.”

Of course such discourse never happened, but the US is the only advanced nation that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation.

I was raised in Brazil – my parents are still living there – and I have a sister who lives in Italy.  So I know how much time off people take for their vacations and holidays.  In most parts of the world, people work so they can have a better life and time with friends and family.  Here we work as an end in itself.

I’m not against working hard.  I actually am one of the people that draw a lot of satisfaction from producing.  But I also know in order to keep learning and keeping our minds sharp, we must relax and we must give ourselves time to think, read, relate, and hopefully travel.

I understand in today’s world even paying for basic needs has become difficult.  But I remember years ago doing a documentary on the poor people of Rio de Janeiro who participate in carnival and being struck by how with only a guitar, a little food, a couple of beers people were able to entertain themselves and create a world that fed their hearts.  It came from having their friends and family, in these weekend get togethers, laughing and connecting. It didn’t take money.  It only took the ability to disconnect and remembering priorities; relationships.

Don’t be afraid to take a little time off.  Don’t be afraid to unplug.  And don’t be afraid to carve out time to spend with friends and family.  Your life will feel more rewarding and so will the quality of your work.

Why is America the ‘no-vacation nation’?

(CNN) — Let’s be blunt: If you like to take lots of vacation, the United States is not the place to work.

Besides a handful of national holidays, the typical American worker bee gets two or three precious weeks off out of a whole year to relax and see the world — much less than what people in many other countries receive.

And even that amount of vacation often comes with strings attached…Continued

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