What labor will you choose?

Is it work if you enjoy it?

It’s Labor Day. A day that has become little more than an extra day off from work for many people. But when it was instituted in 1882, it was meant to celebrate the working man.

Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, may have been the one to suggest having a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” (Some say it was Matthew Maguire, a machinist, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.)

I think about those laborers in the late 1800s–brickmasons and coal miners, steelworkers and meatpackers, factory workers and railroad men. I suspect those were the days before people thought about “careers” and what job they wanted. Now we start asking children what they want to be as soon as they can talk and we tell them they can be anything they want–doctor, astronaut, teacher, firefighter, princess . . . well, there are fewer openings there, but it can happen!

So, given the freedom of a Labor Day off from work (and not everyone has that!), what work will you choose to do? What I’m asking here, is what work do you do because you like it? Gardening? Home improvement? Caring for family? I plan to get in some writing. Book three has passed 20,000 words, which means I’m about a fourth of the way there. I can bite off another chunk today. And I can hardly wait!

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