Even an guru gets days off once in a while. Unpaid, of course.
Back in the day, in The Other Life (as I now call it) I had a real job. It had a real salary. It had real benefits like paid sick days, paid holidays, 401k, medical, and dental. Hell, it was almost enough to keep my negativity on the back burner. It was almost like someone gave a shit about me.
Oh yeah, I had FOUR (count ‘em motherfucker) paid weeks of vacation, too.
Fast-forward to the Decade of Despair ™ and a lot has changed. True, the Decade of Despair officially ended in 2011, but it has been extended indefinitely in what I’ve come to know as The Bonus Round.
My pay is about the same as I earned in the mid-80s. I shit you not. And I haven’t had a paid day off since the year 2001. Vacation, sick, holiday – whatever. None. Diddly squat. Goose egg. Bupkis.
Health insurance? I only work full time, ya know? Why the fuck would I be worthy of insurance. Don’t make me laugh. If I do I’ll exceed the stress capabilities of my truss and then, well, I’ll need a doctor. Trust me on this. I don’t have $200 on me to see an asshole who will spend three minutes with me giving me bad advice.
But I digress. Since ending The Other Life vacations have been few and far between. Hell, even when I hitched up with Mrs. Abyss the wedding ceremony and honeymoon had to be crammed into a three-day weekend. Monday morning I was right back at it in the shithole.
Someone must have told all of my bosses than an employee stressed to the point of daydreaming 24/7 about swallowing razor blades was the optimal path to productivity, right? It’s the only explanation that makes sense. (That or the universe hates me for daring to exist.)
One time since then I took nine days off in a row. That’s five days “vacation” from work with weekend bookends. Utterly unpaid. It’s a world record that has stood for years. No, I doubt I’ll be able to break it. Not in this lifetime.
But I’m about to tie the record. Yeah, nine more unpaid days off in a row for me. And, since I obviously have so much vacation experience under my belt, I’m going to share a few vacation planning tips with ya. It’s time for me to don my Julie hat. Come aboard, I’m expecting you. I’ll set a course for adventure! If we’re super lucky maybe Doc will even hit on my wife.
Nine days. Those words are so delicious I can’t stop sticking them in my mouth, rolling them around with my tongue and licking them.
Nine days. Nine whole days away from the bullshit. Nirvana. I must try not to let myself be distracted by the hate instilled by the fact that they are unpaid. Such thoughts inevitably lead to the past, an era where I had actual worth as a human being. Danger close! Abort!
Instead, let us focus on the promise of the future. The planning of the vacation. I’m going to show you how.
First, you have to establish a few ground rules.
- The “vacation” part of the nine days must be preceded and followed by a day of rest with no scheduled activities.
- There shall be a day devoted to “relaxing” before and after a drive day.
- To avoid overexerting my truss, all activity days must be bracketed by “rest” days, too.
That’s it. See how simple this is? I’ll illustrate with the itinerary I developed.
As you might imagine, an itinerary this scientifically advanced can lead to some odd conversations.
Wife: I’m looking forward to doing lots and lots of things during our vacation.
Tom: Yeah, me, too!
T: Of course, dear. We should have just enough time for two whole activities.
W: What? Are you shitting me?
T: No way. Here, check out this itinerary.
I’m really looking forward to this vacation. It should be good times!
P.S. Message to the wife: Don’t let me forget to pack my tiara! (Psst. It unfolds into a deadly shuriken. Don’t tell anyone.)