Archives for posts with tag: long weekends

Sipping my coffee on Labor Day. I’m not in the office, and I have the day off; that’s nice. I take a few moments of time and consideration for the efforts of each subsequent wave of labor movements over human history that brought us here – to this place and time with 5 day (or fewer) work weeks, limited to 40 hours (in principle), with a minimum wage expectation (still, for some reason, a radical notion), regular weekends off, healthcare, bereavement pay and other benefits, and restrictions on who could be required to work, and at what age… wow. It was not always like this for working people. Powerful. There’s more work to be done, but today? Not the day to fight that fight. Today, we celebrate that fight. 😀

It hasn’t been quite so hot, and the cooler weather definitely limits the impact to our quality of life that the A/C is busted. It’s mostly fixed, and I expected it would be fully repaired yesterday afternoon. Apparently not a reasonable expectation, even after the repair person selected by the landlord assured me he just needed one more part, and would wrap things up between 1 pm and 2 pm; I never saw him again, yesterday. lol I am frustrated – but, and this is just real, I also think it is wholly shitty that he is spending much of his Labor Day weekend working. :-\ So, I feel inclined to be very patient about it, through the weekend, for sure.

Any time I feel subjectively “too hot”, I do have the option to change up the scenery. I can have a cooling cold(ish) shower. I can enjoy an Italian ice, or an icy cold beverage. I can run an errand in the car (it has A/C, and the A/C in the car works just fine) or go for a long drive. I can even, and this does work pretty well, dim the lighting in the apartment and “trick myself” into feeling cooler with a video of rain falling, or a snowy evening. All surprisingly effective, particularly if I don’t fight back with regular reminders of how hot I feel. LOL Thankfully, the weather has been cooler, more around 80 than above 90.

…I’m just saying; there is nearly always something I can do to improve an uncomfortable situation. This applies every bit as much to A/C failures as to relationships, jobs, working conditions, as well as a ridiculously wide variety of assorted miscellaneous other life experiences. 🙂 The answer to “what can I do about that?” is very rarely “nothing at all”.

It’s been a lovely weekend. I’ve gotten a few things done. I’ve enjoyed hours of entertainment with my Traveling Partner. This third day off feels “extra” in a wonderful way, although it is also that last day before I must return to work – I generally spend those more on preparing for the week ahead, and in service to hearth and home, than relaxing. Taking care of me does have some verbs involved. My desire to see a clean kitchen means I need to do the work to make it so. If I want clean clothes to wear, it’s a good day to do the laundry. Just the basic stuff, and plenty of time between tasks to chill with my partner, enjoying the day. It’s helpful that we are equals in this partnership; I often come home to an astonishing amount of housekeeping and care already handled. This week, the laundry is already sorted (and I didn’t have to do that), even started (and a bunch of stuff ready to fold or hang up). We work together to build the life we enjoy sharing. No slaves, no masters, no petty resentment, no servitude.

I listen to the sound of this snow storm playing in the background. I sip my coffee and grin at the subjective sensation of cold toes on a chilly morning. (It’s not actually cold this morning.) I think ahead to dinner, later, and wonder if it is too late (being Labor Day) to get a thick bone-in rib-eye to throw on the grill tonight… and laugh at my terrible planning; I was just at the store, literally at the butcher counter, yesterday. It’s not even necessary to go out; there is plenty to choose from here, already. lol My restless monkey mind wants to seek, to travel, to explore, to experience – and my ankle objects to the effort and distance, in advance. (It’s been a limiting concern all weekend.) I remind myself gently, that if the ankle were up to it, I’d just hit the trail this morning and walk 3 or 4 miles, enjoying the morning birdsong and breezes.

…This morning, sufficiency is enough. 😉 Tomorrow is soon enough to begin again. 😀

Sleeping in was nice this morning. Sipping my coffee, sitting in the open doorway to the deck on a rainy Friday morning felt luxurious. Today is mine. For me. I’ve got a long weekend.

A perspective on an autumn morning from an open doorway.

I can’t help but think about the many hundreds of thousands (millions?) of retail workers who will not get this long weekend with their families, or to get some downtime for themselves, or the opportunity so many of us get to do our own thing for a few days after a holiday purportedly about gratitude. They are indentured servants to American Greed. Their employers force them back onto the clock (or they risk losing their jobs) in order to staff shops that Americans visit with a frenzy – a fury – that puts Greed on display for all the world to see. It is a purely American phenomenon as far as I am aware. I find it, personally, rather grotesque. I don’t participate. I don’t shop. I stay home, or go hiking. I stay out of retail spaces, and I stay off the city streets. It’s scary dangerous out there; shoppers have finished with all that “being grateful” stuff, and now it is open warfare to secure the goods for their family holiday (or, let’s be honest, themselves). No thank you.

I can’t hold it against people who are among the poor or working poor that they pull hard-earned limited funds together to do their holiday shopping on this one day of the year; retailers exploit that honest vulnerable yearning to give their families a little something more, to have something nice, to improve their quality of life. It sickens me to see people who can afford to quite properly shop on just any day, and comfortably afford sufficient holiday luxuries for their loved ones and safely avoid this horrible festival of exploitation and greed, getting out there rampaging through shops and malls showing off the worst of who they can be in order to save money they could have afforded to spend. Most particularly I object to this spectacle because it is the participation, in the first place, that makes it a thing at all.  I find it uncomfortable that it falls on the day after Thanksgiving. Seriously? For fuck’s sake, the timing could not put our greed on higher contrast if we’d carefully selected the timing for that very purpose. It tends to call our gratitude into question.

So… I just don’t.

I’m not walking your mile, and I can’t point fingers or judge you as an individual for shopping on Black Friday. I just also feel sad that the very existence of Black Friday as a thing means that retail workers, specifically, some of the least adequately paid workers in America, get completely fucked out of enjoying a long holiday weekend with their families that many of us get to take for granted – and also don’t get to shop. It’s like an extra helping of “fuck you” for those workers. (How can I not show solidarity, myself, when this is my awareness, and my perspective?) Since I can’t actually change it, and I do actually object, I therefore do not participate, that’s all. 🙂

I guess I’m just saying – if this is a “holiday”, it’s celebrating something pretty horrible, and just maybe we should take another look at what we’re celebrating.

…a short stack of books…an entire day off…

I make another coffee. I consider the day ahead, here at home. It’s a nice one for a hike, mild and only somewhat drizzly. I could stay in and paint without interruption, or relax and read one of the books in the wee stack that has built up since last year, that I continue to promise myself I’ll get around to. I could commit to mindful service to hearth and home, break out that “to do list” and get to work on it. It is a day suitable for beginning again. 🙂

 

Getting through these couple of work days is harder than I expected. The days drag. I feel distracted. There is a garden waiting for me at home that needs love. There is unpacking to do. There are things to put in their proper place – and proper places to be determined. The work day, yesterday, did eventually end.

I’d taken car yesterday, and will again today. My ankle is still aching and the bus stop is some distance away. On my way home, happily following a suggested route offered by a more experience colleague, I made a stop for some odds and ends but instead found myself wandering discontentedly through the aisles; I no longer cared about the errand, I just wanted to be at home. So, I went home.

I meant to do things. I meant to unpack more stuff. I meant to do some laundry. I meant to vacuum. Instead I made a mug of chicken broth and sat in the stillness, quiet and content. I watched the golden glow of late afternoon fade to twilight. I listened to the birds. I watered the container garden on the deck. Eventually, night fell. I went to bed. It was quiet a deliciously restful evening.

I spent much of that quiet time just soaking in the newness of this place, and continuing to get a feel for it. I still can’t quiet find my way around in the dark here, not yet. There is more to learn.

It’s an exciting time, now that the panic of having to move suddenly is behind me, and I’ve done that bit. So much chaos. I’m looking forward to the long weekend ahead, that begins tonight. Making this space my own is the fun part. Then, the journey ahead begins. I don’t know yet where it leads. I think of my Traveling Partner. It’s funny how much it matters to me that he also be able to find contentment in this space…but it does.

One more work shift… I think about work and I am immediately vaguely distracted feeling, already eager to return my thoughts to home. There is so much to do here! I’ve got keys to the apartment, though, until Friday. If I can get all the boxes unpacked, I can drop off the cardboard recycling in the big bin at the old apartment… handy. Living in a house means no more dumpsters. lol Every detail of getting settled in here is so prominent in my thoughts. It’s hard to recall now quite why I was so stressed out and angry about having to move… having moved, that bit is now in the past, and seems unfamiliar. I know I don’t like moving…but I really like moving in. lol

“Fireworks” burst into bloom as soon as I began watering her. We thrive when we are cared for.

It’s a good day to take care of the woman in the mirror. It’s a very good day to begin again.