When I go back to work tomorrow, people will ask me whether I did anything “fun” over the Labor Day Weekend, just as before the weekend I was asked it I had anything “fun” planned. At recent gatherings where I have bumped into people I haven’t seen in a while, all the questions have been about whether I did anything exciting this summer. I have been pondering these questions and what they say about how we structure our lives. For me, the seasons change based on what I cook and eat, how I dress, and to some degree, when I sleep (more at night when it is cold and dark; more afternoon naps when it is overly hot and bright), but I both work and take breaks throughout the year, so summer did not bring anything more or less exciting than usual.
I am acutely aware that part of the reason I have the luxury to live in accordance with the seasons is that I am not on a school schedule, and I have a job that allows me a little flexibility in terms on when to take breaks and when I come and go on any given day. I also realize that I have blurred the difference between work and “fun.” I have had a most enjoyable Labor Day weekend, but some would think much of it has been work: I taught two classes; I gardened; I cooked; I’ve done some housecleaning; I am writing this blog entry, etc. As I took pleasure in all of these activities, I think of it as having had fun, even though everything I did was something someone could have been doing as “work.” I think that when we take pleasure in our work, we are less in need of grasping at “fun” and can find more joy in the leisure activities that are more usually labeled as “fun.”
I hope whatever you have been doing, whether working or playing, you are enjoying the day, and can take a few moments to reflect on those who fought long and hard for ordinary workers to be able to have the time to play in between working.