Mama Says … Happy (Belated) Labor Day!

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Originally written: Monday, 1 Sept. 2014

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Happy Labor Day!!
Summer is over, right, or is it?

    The summer heat isn’t over yet. It will still be hot into October, at least, in Southern California. And there is always Indian summer back east, right? So, if we think of summer in terms of temperature then summer is still here. If you think about it in terms of the seasons then Fall is here as September is the first month of Fall. After all June, July, and August are the summer months. The traditional school year starts after Labor Day, so I guess some of the signs are indicating that Fall is here. (Many school districts here in Cali have year round school and many students started back to school in July.) But, that aside, traditionally Labor Day marks the end of vacations and the end of summer. Be that as it may, let me share some thoughts with you about Labor Day.
    How many of us grunt and groan when the weekend or vacation is over and we have to return to work? I hear it at work and I am sure you have heard it, too. If I am being honest, I myself have uttered those words, “Do I really have to go back to work? No. I don’t want to.”
You would think I would be immune to these thoughts after being laid off and out of work for 6 months. Everything came to a standstill. No money. Unemployment didn’t go far. Then it got cut off because I was honest on my paperwork that I was required to submit every two weeks. I got a tentative job offer from the County of San Diego but had to go through a background check and a physical. Because I listed that I was tentatively hired the unwise powers that be at the unemployment department terminated my benefits. It didn’t matter to them that the hiring process would take two months and that in the meantime I would have no money. (Ah, government bureaucracy and idiocy. Who hasn’t been touched by that?)
  So when I finally got hired and was happy with the work position and the company I was ecstatic! Finally, money for food and the mortgage and clothes and petrol for the car, etc. Truly I am grateful. Every now and then the “please don’t make me go back to work blues” hits me and I suspect I am not alone.
    It’s not that my job is awful. It’s just that sometimes being at home sitting on my big fat fanny reading a good book or taking a nice afternoon snooze is more appealing than work. I don’t have the life of Riley and I am not a millionaire so I must work. Honestly, though, I do enjoy my work a lot. Work is really a blessing and not for solely monetary reasons.
     Working gives you a sense of purpose. Work allows you to order your life. Work makes you put your skills to work and hopefully, work challenges your brain, your problem solving  skills, and your social abilities. Employment allows you to feel useful and needed. You can have a sense of pride in your job. There are so many gifts and blessings that come from being gainfully employed. It is a big bonus if you love what you do. I can say that I do.
     In light of the fact that it is Labor Day I have some tips courtesy of the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan. Did you know that your Labor Day celebration could bring you better health? Here are some of the whys and ways to celebrate the day and life in general:
    1) We would be wise to list our assets, the good stuff in our lives. Make a list of the things you appreciate about yourself. (Don’t even dare to say that there is nothing good about you. That’s a lie. Everyone has been blessed with gifts and abilities. It sure doesn’t matter if yours are different from other folks. Differences make the world go round. Think about one of my favorite quotes – How silent the woods would be if only the best birds sang. Amen to that.) It is okay to feel good about yourself and your abilities. Think about your artistic talents, your good penmanship, maybe the ability you have to make people laugh. List every quality that you value in yourself. If you write this list down, highly recommended by the way, you can reach for it to give yourself a boost when you negative inner voice starts putting you down. When you accept yourself you are better able to spread the goodwill to others.
    2) Give thanks. You know I have definitely written about this before. Sincere gratitude is a gift. You know that when you thank someone from your heart you have made them happy. They feel lighter than air. Everyone wants to be acknowledged. If you know how good it makes you feel, pass this blissful feeling on to someone else. Write a note to someone to tell them what a great job they have been doing on that work project. Thank you mail carrier when you see your mail being delivered. There are a million ways to give thanks to family, friends, co- workers, and people in the community. Researchers have discovered that saying thank you can boost you energy, help your immune system, and can even help reduce pain. How do you like those apples?
    3) Volunteer. Studies show that even if you can only give a couple of hours a week you can reduce depression and boost your spirit. What are you waiting for? Find a cause that is close to your heart. Do it on your own or get a family member or good friend to join you. The more the merrier. There are so many charities and causes out there that anyone can find some- thing that fits them.

    Yes, it is Labor Day. Let us be glad for this great country and the freedoms we have and the opportunity we have to labor. Work is noble. Things don’t get much better than this.
    Coming soon, I will be starting a journal on this site so people can keep track of our diet efforts and the ups and downs of life. I promise it won’t be some morose thing nor will it be filled with bragging about myself. On the contrary…    
    Till, then, Blog You Later!!

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