Barbara: Today is Labour Day so maybe that's why I suddenly found myself wanting to acknowledge the myriad things that we work at each day.
I am a hard-worker by nature. I truly love having some kind of purposeful work to occupy me (and right now, my favourite by far is writing). Don’t get me wrong—I’m also a Class A relaxer, but only when I “deserve” it. The problem is, I do have a bit of mean-streak when it comes to hard work. If I do something that is to the obvious benefit of others (a communal project or a closet cleaned), I’ll admit it, I expect some kind of acknowledgement at the least and gratitude at the best. Choirs singing and light radiating would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, the paroxysms of emotional stress I’ve put myself through if something I’d laboured over didn’t get the reaction I thought it deserved. The hours creating, editing, schlepping, sweating, cleaning, caring, finagling, organizing, listening, advising, workingworkingworking, without gratitude felt like they’d disappeared into some kind of black hole (if no one said thank you, did it actually happen?). I’ve tried to get over it, I really have. Craving gratitude is not something I believe is particularly righteous. After all, fundamentally I’m not working for others, I’m working for myself. Right? Right.
Even though I’ve gotten a lot better over the years, gratitude is still my Achilles Heal. So I’d like to take this holiday to acknowledge labour in all its glory.
Thanks to all you parents for your hours of invisible chores. Thanks to you children for growing up no matter how well or badly we do them. Thanks to those of you who put your life on the line to keep us safe. Thanks for teaching us, caring for us, researching for us, developing for us, managing, marketing, creating for us. Thanks to those of you who make the things we use everyday, and those things we might use one day in the future. Thanks to everyone for being part of a bigger picture. Thanks for being brave in millions of seemingly inconsequential ways every day. Thanks for all your efforts, whatever they may be, that help keep this world ticking and talking, humming and developing, changing and growing, fundamentally keeping us all connected through strands of interconnected work.
Closer to home, thanks for reading this blog, for commenting, entertaining, participating, considering (and thanks to all you patient readers who’ve tried repeatedly to post comments that haven’t stuck—this seems to happen quite a bit and we can’t figure out why!!). Thanks for writing your own brilliant blogs and sharing your lives and feelings with us with such honesty. It’s a blog world here and, without you and your efforts, it would be a Love’s Labour Lost. Instead it is a labour of love.
Happy Labour Day, everyone! Now get back to work.
Deb: Could not have said it better myself. And didn’t. So a final thanks to Barb. And on a related note, 20 years ago I spent Labour Day, in labour and had a beautiful boy on September 3rd, 1990, for which I am eternally grateful. His birthday has only fallen on Labour day twice since then, but in 1990, Labour Day took on a whole new meaning.