Vacations are for the weak. They are also for Europeans. I’m not saying that Europeans are weak, but I am saying that endless toil is what makes Americans strong.
America didnt’ conquer the moon because we were lazily touring the Greek islands for two weeks.
Americans don’t take vacations because Americans are busy running the universe. We basically invented all the most important things ever invented. Who invented the light bulb? An American. The iPad? An America? Pizza? Technically, Italians invented that but we stuffed it with more cheese and made it better.
I am not going to apologize for not spending all of my money on a decadent European-style vacation. I think it’s great that Europe has taken a collective breather from history and are enjoying long vacations. I say, if you spend two thousand years or so perfecting the art of war, colonizing half-the-world, and slaughtering hundreds of millions of people, you deserve to kick back and maybe spend three weeks as a sex tourist in Thailand.
But I’m American, and I’ve got stuff to do.Americans take care of business. We git-r-done. The land of the free is a land on a mission. We have no time to sit outside and drink bitter coffee out of tiny elf cups. We’ve got to go, go, go. Look, I’m totally cool if an entire civilization thinks it’s important to shirk their responsibilities and shut down for a month. Whatever. Many European countries just fall into a deep coma during the summer months because their population is out and about, plodding around the world's tourist traps while wearing sensible shoes. But, seriously, don't feel guilty about that, Europe. If a giant, planet-destroying asteroid comes hurtling towards Earth, America's got it. LIKE ALWAYS.
I love to work. Not working makes me edgy. When I have to take a day off, like during national holidays when the office is closed, I usually spend it thinking about work. This is one of the many reasons that, over the course of my career, I have rocketed up right to the middle.
I'm very busy. I've got to deliver results. Fill out spreadsheets. Attend meetings. Manage projects. This week, at work, I have to devise a strategy. But before that, I will create a strategy strategy. I will leave work today at 6PM or so, go home, nuke some bagel pizzas and check my e-mail. Maybe I’ll send out some work e-mails. Then I will watch television for a little while and then go to bed. While I sleep, I will dream about finishing that project. My coworkers will push me around around the cubicles in my rolling office chair as crumbled up Post-it notes rain down like celebratory confetti.
CNN.com has attempted to explain why Americans don’t take as many vacation days as people in other countries. For instance, 89% of the French use up all of their vacation time, compared to 57% of Americans. Europeans get an average of six weeks of time off, and most Americans barely get two weeks, and that’s only if their company offers any paid vacation.
According to the essay, Americans prize work and Europeans leisure. The Europeans quoted dismiss Americans as robots and describe their lifestyle as one that is focused on family and introspection instead of one that is just about money. I am sick and tired of being looked down on by a continent of human eclairs. I would rather be worked to death than bored to death. That’s what the European vacation sounds like, pure boredom. Just weeks and weeks of being utterly useless.
The piece is titled "Why America is the 'no-vacation nation.'" I would like to change the title to "Why Europe are nations of 'procrastination.'" Go ahead and spend a week at work plotting your trip abroad, Frenchie. I'm multitasking, using one half of brain to write this rant and the other half to come up with an action plan. Because that is my middle name. John "Action Plan" DeVore.
Here’s why Americans don’t take self-indulgent vacations: because the right to the pursuit of happiness is a lot of work. I’m sure Europeans have a lot to do, like making fancy chocolates and designer handbags and perfectly nice automobiles that are then sold to Americans. They are an ancient people. Go have a nice sit in the sun, granddad Europe!
It’s not that I’m a workaholic, it’s that you’re a slothaholic. The old saying goes “idle hands are the devils playground,” and that’s true, which is why Hell is full of fanny packs.
I am defined by what I do. The most important philosophical question a person can ask him or herself is “What do I do?” What do I do on this Earth? What do I do with my time and my talents? I’ll tell you what you do: you work. A person can discovers who they are when they work. Sweat is the grease of self-awareness. Opportunity is always buried and the only way to get to it is with a shovel. You are what you make: money, love, a difference. Neither of those three things happen while your rhinoceros ass is parked in a lounge chair. A long vacation is just away to avoid inching towards you destiny.
You can rest and relax when you’re dead.