For someone without a regular 9-5 job, the Friday before a holiday weekend looses a bit of its luster. That extra day off used to be something I eagerly anticipated and celebrated.
"Well-earned" we would say together as we met for a drink on a patio.
I think that may be what I miss the most about 9-5, the feeling of earning my keep.
Research says, intrinsically, we want to earn rewards. Even those people who disagree with reinforcement techniques, will often say they deserve the same perks as their peers simply because they haven't done anything wrong. Which itself is indicative of good behavior(hard work) = perks.
Its rather interesting the change in what earn means through the years. My grandpa was of the generation of WORK. Didn't matter if you liked it, were good at it or felt fulfilled- you did what needed to be done and were thankful to "earn your spot". He was strong and very aware of his strengths and weaknesses. He said there was never a thing that couldn't be healed/fixed/answered after a hard days work. I never once saw him wonder his place in the world.
Now many of us are pursuing our own passions and dreams and we don't stay at jobs that we loose interest in. We seek more...of everything. I don't believe that's wrong at all, I'm example number one. I do think that perhaps the internal value of earning, that knowing that you are contributing in a valuable way seemed stronger in he and his peers. I could list a chapter of people I've met that wonder daily what they are contributing in life. People that perhaps feel they haven't earned a spot.
I will never think life is about work, the job. I know that there are endless opportunities to grow, learn and contribute outside of the job. But perhaps work, the action, is what many of us are missing in life. The act of giving it all you have is very different from being at work 12 hours a day.
I honestly can't say the last day I gave it all.
This weekend I hope we celebrate all our options, encourage ourselves to get through hard jobs and are generous in our moments of freedom and days off with those we love.
(And be thankful we aren't working with my grandpa because he would have worn us out!)
*Labor Day is more than the end of Summer, most importantly its a celebration of the achievements of American workers.