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Sunday, June 5, 2016

How do you holiday?

USA Today says that every country in the European Union has at least four weeks of paid vacation time per year, by law. FOUR WEEKS!Here in the land of the free, the greatest country on earth, we get zero guaranteed paid vacation time. Absolutely none. When the retina specialist told me that I was going blind sooner rather than later, he also told me to "go out and travel! Make a list and see what you can while you can! Do it now. Don't let anything stop you. Your time to see the sights you want to see is very limited. Enjoy it while you can."I laughed and asked him if he was going to fund my travels. I know he was only trying to help, but for a person in my financial condition, meaning a person who lives paycheck to paycheck without much buffer in between, he was only adding insult to injury. I can't afford to go home, to Tennessee, to see family and friends. I can't afford to go to a cabin for a weekend without sharing the cost with 6 other people. How am I supposed to travel and see things before I lose what's left of my sight? HOW?My job is perfect for traveling. I can do it from anywhere as long as I can connect to the internet. Easy enough to manage in this day and age. The wife's is a different story. She's chained to her desk Monday - Friday. No telecommute opportunities for her. Oh, she has ample vacation time available to her, but trying to get approved to take any of it is a fucking joke. And if she could get the time off approved, where in the fuck could we go with our limited budget and car that needs brakes and tires and a tune up first, when we can't even afford to get the brakes, and tires, and the tune up? At this point, I'd take a nice meandering drive through Amish country with a stop off somewhere for lunch, and I'd consider that a god damned luxurious treat. Meanwhile I watch all my friends, year after year post travel pictures on facebook, and I wonder how did they afford that with children to care for? How did they get time off work to go to the beach? I don't understand how we can't make that happen, while so many others can. Sure, they get tax refunds each April, while we scrape together what we can to pay in what we owe yet. I want to travel. I want to see those places I haven't seen in years. I want to see the places I've yet to see. It's been a few years since the last time I was able to take a vacation, and that was with a family group, for just a weekend at a cabin an hour and a half away.
Sometimes I want to scream, "I'M GOING BLIND, GOD DAMMIT! TAKE ME TO THE FUCKING BEACH! I WANT TO SEE THE OCEAN JUST ONE MORE TIME!"or, "PLEASE, just let me see the fucking Rocky Mountains for 1 day, for fuck's sake! Just ONE DAY!"Is it that so hard? My sight is vanishing, and along with it are all my chances to see things like the slopes in Denver, or the northern lights, or an elk...But who would I scream at? It's no one's responsibility to make sure I get to go places and see things, but my own. No one else is responsible for that. It's my own problem that I didn't end up wealthy, well educated, and ready to take on the world. It's my luck of the draw that I got all the bad genes and get to lose my sight. And it's my luck of the draw that the only person I'd want to travel with is tied to a desk at a job that won't allow her to use her vacation days. And it's my luck of the draw that our combined income barely keeps our heads afloat as it is, much less trying to afford to travel anywhere. No wonder Americans die young. We're stuck at our desks for 8+ hours a day, sitting and staring at an LED screen, then we're sold garbage that's labeled as food, and then we're paid a fraction of what we're worth, and we never get to relax and unwind,and when we do, we're breathing in toxic, polluted air. If I was a religious person, maybe I'd pray about it. But I'm not, so that delusion of hope through prayer is absent. So now what? Nothing, I guess, except come here and write about it. 

"I said Venice, and you heard Vegas. Now I say either way, baby, let's go..."

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