September 05, 2022
In my mind I have always seen the weekend as time off, or at least as a day off somewhere over the span of these three or four days. Like so many workers, that does not mean I do not work, but it does mean I can be more subjective about what I do and when I do it. Fridays are the day when I usually complete my last preparation for Sunday, but in the back of my mind I know if I do not finish, I still have Saturday. Sunday afternoon is seen as a time of preparation for Tuesday but lately I have allowed most of this work to slide and wait to prepare on Monday morning. That means Monday is no longer a full day off and at least the morning is a workday. Still, the weekend does provide more fluidity and I am able to take a “day off” somewhere over the course of these four days, even if it is not a consecutive 24 hour period. I mention this because today is a federal day off in the US. This Monday is Labor Day.
I did not need to look online this year because I had written about Labor Day for last year’s blog. I found Labor Day is a federal holiday in the US celebrated on the first Monday in September in any given year, and for most it represents a day off. The date falls anywhere from September 1 through September 7. The day was created to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the contributions and work of laborers. Beginning in the late 19th century, trade unionists proposed a day be set aside to celebrate labor. “Labor Day” was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the US to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty states in the US officially celebrated Labor Day. Canada also celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September.
Since today is Labor Day and my unofficial day off, you would think I would be able to find time to do other things than work, and that is the case. My flexibility allows me to work in the morning, take the afternoon to spend time with family, and then finish my preparation for tomorrow later. While this may not be a full day off, it does provide the pause that gets us all through the work week. That is why so many celebrate the weekend with the cry, “ThankGodIt’sFriday”.
THOUGHTS: When I retired, I assumed that meant everyday would be a day off. Then the reality of retirement set in, and I found I needed to work to support my lifestyle and to provide a sense of purpose. What retirement has done is provide the opportunity to be more flexible in finding a day off. This is a privilege that many in America, and the world, do not have. Labor Day was not given to the workers as a day off, it was taken as everyone failed to show up. Now rather than sick days government, office, and manufacturing firms provide “personal days” where the workers do not need to be sick, but just need a day off. That means Monday can be your TGIF. Act for all. Change is coming and it starts with you.