Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day 2009

This is always seems to be the saddest day of the year to me. It's the unofficial end of summer, a season I anticipate all year long like a kid waiting to pop a piece of candy into his mouth.

While I'm in the thick of it, I try to appreciate the sunshine, long days and smell of warmth. Those appreciations, however, seem fleeting these days. As I get older I have other things on my mind - unfinished business that nags at me and never lets me be fully immersed in the summer memories I had from my childhood.

It's not until Labor Day when I look back and try to remember if the summer was successful or not. Did I get to the beach? Yes. Did I have a meal outside in the evening? Yes, with bugs. Did I take some time off of work and do something special? Yes.

Then why so sad?

Because the child in me questions why these things have to end.

Why does winter have to come? Why do the days have to get shorter? Why will my hands be cold for the next six months and my body just slightly more hunched over with the added weight of warm clothing?

Because Labor Day heralds a change of the seasons!

Now, I know people in other parts of the country are jealous of the change of seasons but after spending all my life in this area I can tell you it's a pain in the ass - leaf cleanups, gray skies and slush, breathing in dry heated air, seeing ads for Caribbean vacations that are too expensive to go on. I've had enough.

And to add to this, I have a little bit of guilt celebrating a holiday called Labor Day. I believe it became a national holiday in 1894 as a way to honor the common worker - union workers who slaved away in factories to help build our country. Today, the unions for the most part are despised, most of the work is outsourced to a foreign country, and I don't really consider what I do at the office anything resembling work.

I started a little tradition this year. On Memorial Day (the happiest day of the year), I put an American flag out in front of my house. It's a little symbol of all the hope and good times the following days, weeks and months can bring. It hangs out front all summer long. And on Labor Day, I take it down - a symbol that I need to put away some of my childishness, look reality in the face a little harder, and get on with my life - in hell.

1 comment:

  1. I agree it is a sad time of year. I usually get those butterflies in my stomach thinking I have to go back to school but those days are long gone. I like the change of seasons but at times, wish I were a bear hibernating through them till spring arrives.