the red stare

This is my last of three days off work in a row. It’s been great. I haven’t done anything exciting but it’s still been really…refreshing. Jeez, I hate using that word. It reminds me of boring people going to spas for relaxation bullshit but besides that association, it’s the best word to describe how I’m feeling. I had been running myself into the ground with work, chores around the house, and working on our cabin, so I made a point to keep these three days free of any serious plans. I just wanted to sleep in, hang out with the animals in the yard, and take the dog for walks with Jenn. Turns out that’s just what the doctor ordered because now I feel ready to return to work tomorrow.

Vacations are strange. It’s not like they can make you start loving a job that you hate but if you are feeling burnt out and sick of a job you usually like, they can sometimes help to rejuvenate your passion for (or at least your ability to tolerate) the job. When I was a kid, I never thought of vacations in those terms. I guess I didn’t mind school so much that I needed a vacation to offset the misery — school was fine, and vacation was great. That’s pretty much how I feel about my job now, which is pretty good I guess. But every now and then, the balance is thrown out by working too much, and at those times, even a short vacation consisting of doing not much at all is a welcomed reprieve.

Now I’ve got three days of work to look forward to. Not thrilling but it’s fine. I wonder how I’ll feel at the end of that third day. Probably better than I did three days ago.

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Gee whiz, I love time off. Fuck work.

I haven’t worked much in the last week. Jenn and I went up to Sointula for several days to work on our cabin, and then I only have a few shifts to round out the week. And guess what, it’s been awesome.

Today, I did a bunch of laundry and hung it outside to dry, which I always enjoy. I blogged about this way back when, how I find hanging laundry outside really calming and therapeutic. Then I cleaned the kitchen. Then I dog walked with Marion, who is a 10/10 sweetheart. Then I did some gardening for the first time in my life — don’t get too excited, all I did was put some carrot and beet seeds in the dirt. I wasn’t even very careful about the depth or spacing so I’m not really hopeful they’ll grow but we’ll see.

Then I moved the laundry line because it has been slowly pulling our deck railing over for years and it took me a long time to accept the idea of hanging laundry somewhere other than our deck. I can be obstinate, it’s true. Then I moved our ladders to a better, out of the way storage spot. Then I cleaned up my workshop and made a toolkit with all my doubles and redundant tools so we can take that up to Sointula on our next trip — you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve forgotten my toolkit at home and we’ve been caught with our panties down, in desperate need of a crescent wrench or pair of pliers.

Then I put some ads up on craigslist for things I no longer have a use for (fodder for future blog posts), and settled on an old school anthology horror movie to watch on the side of the house with the gang tomorrow night. Now we’re about to go out for dinner with Jenn’s folks.

In short, it’s just been a damn fine day. Slow and easy yet highly productive.

This sort of day makes me think about how fucking awesome it would be to retire right now. I don’t understand people who are workaholics or are constantly striving to climb the corporate ladder. I like my job just fine but man, if I could only do it once or maybe twice a week — even that would be pushing it — just for fun, or if I could quit outright if that felt even better, you can bet your ass I would. I love slow living, just puttering around, doing little jobs, taking lots of time throughout the day to socialize with the animals and nap when the mood strikes me. It just feels really good to relax.

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Lol, nuff said

Living daily life in a Hawaiian vacation state of mind

I’ve been to the Hawaiian island of Kauai a few times, and while I am not a fan of sun and heat, I am a huge fan of the way a lot of people there live. I’ve consistently seen folks of Kauai being kinder and more courteous than people anywhere else in North America, even in high tension situations like rush hour traffic. I’ve also seen lots of large families having get-togethers and bbq’s on the beach — they seem to really value quality time together. And I’ve seen a lot of older people being really active, like surfing and even doing sit-ups at the beach.

I think all of that is amazing. Those are things that I value greatly, and things that I feel get lost in the hectic madness of the North American world. We’re always so busy trying to get ahead, get better jobs, make more money, and buy nicer stuff, that we neglect the stuff that actually makes us happier — like being kind, spending time with people we care about, doing fun things, and staying fit and active.

But what I don’t understand is that most people go to places like Hawaii for vacations to get just a short taste of what life is like when those things are prioritized over rat race stuff. They spend a week there, relax, have a great time…and then head home and jump right back into the rat race.

If people like the pace of life while they’re on vacation in Hawaii, if they like it so much that it’s what they want to escape to when they have some time off, why don’t they just incorporate some qualities of Hawaiian/vacation living into their daily lives so they get small doses of it all the time?

I don’t know. I think probably because we don’t want to stand out from our suburban neighbours and look like some sort of lazy hippie weirdos. And I think it’s tough to change your habits. And I think most people aren’t self-aware enough to realize that they could be much happier and healthier.

Personally, I think most of us would benefit from a bit more of a Hawaiian vacation approach to our entire lives.

awkward-funny-family-vacation-photos-porn-shoot-beach

I looked up “family on vacation” pics and found this. Not what I had in mind but I’ll run with it.

tra la, tra la

it’s so great to be home from vacation, reading disturbing news articles and getting worked up over them.

this morning, i just read that BC is now liable for up to $508 million to cover the costs of cleaning up after industrial companies that can’t afford to clean up after themselves.

that simple statement seems completely illogical to me. isn’t cleaning up after yourself an intrinsic part of doing business? what legitimate business model includes ‘make fistfuls of money and then declare bankruptcy before having to pay for cleanup’? if companies are operating in a field where expensive cleanups occur with any regularity, why wouldn’t they set aside a contingency fund to cover the costs of those cleanups before they begin operation? and failing that, why wouldn’t the provincial government insist on receiving a similar sort of damage deposit from such a company before the the company starts any work so that, in the event that the company creates a mess it can’t afford to clean up, we taxpayers are not left to cover the costs?

i believe the reason we let companies get away with this shit is that we have a culture where people are so paranoid about ‘job creation,’ ‘sector development,’ and paying their bills today, that we are willing to not only turn a blind eye to environmental catastrophes caused by offending companies but to also cheerfully subsidize those very companies — we let them get away with murder, and pay to let them do it.

we are groveling, sniveling worms at the feet of multi-million dollar industries, and it makes me sick.

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oh goodie. more jobs.