Busy summer, eh? Well, it’s finally winding down (WOUND down — I’m in denial) and time to take a breather — for a weekend anyway. You labor all year long — why not take advantage of the holiday that recognizes this by not doing much at all? Concentrate on family and friends. If the weather’s good and you don’t live in a yellow jacket hotbed, it’s an ideal time for a backyard barbecue. Here in Ohio, these last few weeks of warmth are priceless, mostly because they could evaporate away with no notice. This time of year I log as many nights enjoying my porch as I can for as long as I can, and once my zippered hoodie isn’t enough, it’s time to go back inside and hole up for another Godforsaken Cleveland winter. It’s pretty easy to complain about the summer heat until you remember you only get to bask in it for about one-fourth of the time you’ll spend huddled around heating vents and fireplace this year. Or so it goes here in the midwest.
But good weather doesn’t have to be an essential element to a good holiday weekend. Even if you don’t live in a state where the seasons are actually well-defined by the weather, you should still pause for the cause of your sanity … your coworkers sanity … your family’s sanity. You’ve been working too hard. I can see it in your eyes. You’ve earned it. It’s time to take a breather. Of the industries I’ve covered during my twenty or so years in journalism, pest management beats ’em all in terms of being made up of the most dedicated men and women — working weekends doing strenuous on-your-knees, up-a-ladder, wiggling-through-crawlspace work. (This is why I choose to WRITE about the industry.)
Oh, but I know this industry well enough to feel the narrowed eyes of workaholics glaring in my direction. Yes. Time IS indeed money, but even those among us who thrive keeping things in high-octane overdrive need a little time to recoup. My dad is a man who cannot sit still and feels worthless and lazy unless he’s fixing a neighbor’s plumbing or building something. Retirement was a mixed blessing for this man who spent his entire life, from childhood on, continuously toiling. He had me pushing a lawnmower for neighborhood senior citizens the moment I was tall enough to do same. Because: work ethic. An admirable trait, no doubt. However, even people like my dad can find ways to take time for themselves. Dad is quite an artist and abandoned commercial art as a trade once new life responsibility (in the shape of yours truly) entered the picture, which required him to get a full-time industrial job. With a little reminding from the rest of the family and a little bit of nudging, we have Dad enjoying life once again on his own terms, on his own time. And he hardly even notices he’s not working.
I’m not trying to go all ‘motivational speaker’ on you or anything, but I do encourage you to put the sprayer down … step awaaaaay from the office … drive straight home tonight and do what YOU like to do. If that’s spending time with family — awesome. If it’s hitting the lanes to bowl a few frames — outstanding. But do it for you. If you’re responsible for a family — do something with them to show them your life does not revolve around work. Sometimes we might forget that even though we’re PROVIDING for our family, that doesn’t mean they still don’t want to spend a little time with them now and then.
For those of you who’ve already made Labor Day plans and are looking forward to kicking back and taking it easy this weekend — good for you. Enjoy it and have a safe and happy holiday. For those of you on the fence about working Monday … let me help nudge you over to this side. Take a break from your labors because this weekend, you’ll have a good excuse: a holiday called LABOR Day. What other go-ahead do you require?
Happy Labor Day from all of us to all of you. See ya’ on Tuesday … Did you hear me? T-U-E-S-D-A-Y.