Days Off

The phrase “days off” means only one thing in the US. Anyone reading this who lives in the US knows what I mean when I say, “I’m taking a day off” or “How many days off do you get?” It refers, of course, to the days that you don’t have to work and that you get to spend as you wish. Well, sometimes “as you wish.” DaysOffMany of the days we take off are done so at the behest of others, so we can’t really do what we want but what someone else wants.

I take a day off from time to time. Sometimes those days are filled with fun and excitement. Other times they are full of tedium and frustration. Sometimes when I take a day off, I should have spent the day on. In other words, I would have been better off spending it at my place of employment.

I have no idea how many days off I’ve taken over the years. I probably shouldn’t even try to calculate the number. It might cause me some pain to know that of the hundreds  (or whatever) days off I’ve had, I can only remember doing anything special on just a few of them. Then I might start wondering if I could have spent those days more wisely, or at least in such a way that spending them would have been more memorable.

But I really shouldn’t dwell on this, especially during the current economic conditions. Some folks are forced into taking many consecutive days off because they’ve lost their jobs. My guess is that if you’re out of a job and have little or nothing to do, and no money to do it with anyway, that you’re going to want to forget those days as soon as possible. Having a day off under those circumstances is painful and humiliating. Now consider weeks or months of those days and you have the potential for serious clinical depression.

If I have another one of those days off that are not entirely enjoyable and free from stress, I’ll try to remember all those people who are off too, but off not because they want to be but because they have to be.

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