A big part of developing a view of the world with a new frame of reference is understanding and appreciating the specialness and the gifts of what might otherwise be seen as mundane or bothersome. As promised, today being September 1st, I’ll start day one of jump starting the new (school) year with at least one way I will manage the blessings n my life, rather than stress on the burden. Today is Labor Day in the United States. This is the day that historically was set aside for closed factories, no commerce, no government offices open, but a day allowed the workers of America to celebrate their earned workers’ rights. In 2014 it is pretty much an extra day of shopping before school starts, cramming in a last day at a cabin state fair, or a weekend barbecue, or alas, for many, including my husband, another day of work. Though not everyone enjoys the day as a paid holiday, and we still have unemployment and underemployments struggles, equitable pay and opportunity issues, and differing perspectives of the role and value of unions today, most would agree we never want to return to pre-union efforts and before laws passed in the early 20th century protecting worker rights.
Today is an extra weekend day that will help me manage the rest of the week a bit better. I have a business trip later in the week so I’ll spend part of the day planning the home front for my absence, and trying to make sure nothing major falls through the cracks. I’ll take the advice of others and create a menu plan for the week that might actually get followed, and pack lunches and school and work bags the night before. My husband only has to work a partial day today, so we’ll still put some time into the kids new room later.
I’m happy that kids in this country, if they haven’t already, will be heading to school tomorrow rather than to factory floors as perhaps they did a century ago. I hope for their parents prosperous jobs that support their families, or if struggling with employment, can access food, shelter, and other necessities while still seeing better days ahead. I sadly acknowledge that throughout much of the world, the concept of American Labor Day and basic protection of workers and children going to school regularly do not even register as possible. Regardless of how much stress is in my household due to our jobs, they pay enough to cover my family’s needs and then some, without worry about on the job safety or employer abuse. Nothing is a given; layoffs happen and businesses close. With that, I want to start my new year with renewed vigor in my job, honoring those that fought for my rights in the past and those that still struggle today.