Extending the Summer
Labor Day is behind us and the country is back into the rhythm of Fall, my favorite season, not so much because of the foliage, crisp air, and cozy dark nights, but the predictability and routine is what I welcome.
A holiday instituted to honor the male worker and his contribution to the success of the nation, it has evolved into a long weekend-the last hurrah of the summer. Here on Cape Cod one sees people hauling in their boats, drawing the shutters on their cottages, and soaking up the last rays of sun.
As I watched the various end of summer rituals I ponderedwhat Labor Day means for women. The word labor always takes me back to giving birth and the subsequent labors that follow in the raising a family. But a woman's labor doesn't stop there. Although summer represents freedom for children and sometimes husbands, my sense is that most women labored straight through the summer not only planning their family's vacation but getting them to their destination and orchestrating the activities once there.
It's no wonder most women applaud the end of summer and the beginning of routine, a relief to most who can now have a small sense of control over their day. The trouble is that in an effort to make everything right for everyone else we women tend to leave ourselves out . "Mothers always eat the chicken wings," my mother would say, meaning that we are meant to hold back in favor of others. I never could see the logic in her sentiment but there it was, none the less. I tend to lean toward the philosophy of the French woman who believes that she is meant to please her family but make sure she pleases herself in the process.
And so I for one, am extending Labor Day in order to gift myself some of the leisure that eluded me. My husband has stepped up to the plate and promises to barbecue most nights until the evenings turn cold thus eliminating me being tied to the stove. I've upped my Pilates classes to four times a week and on most days add a beach walk with a friend making time to shell and pick beach heather. My bicycle is out of the shed so I can take to the now empty bike trail whenever I please and late afternoons are devoted to scrap booking , an exercise which helps me remember the captured summer moments caught on film.
In short, I am finding time to extend the summer and indulge in the pauses I didn't take. After all, if there are 8700 hours in a year, I think there should be a few carved out just for me. May you gift yourself with vacation time as well.
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