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Labor Day: celebrate work, celebrate life

The U.S. Department of Labor Web site says it is appropriate that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Labor Day has its roots in employees rebelling against the injustice of long work hours, a never ending spiral of owing the company store, labor walk-outs and strikes. Labor worked to change America’s workplaces so there was leisure time. Have workers reverted to some of these conditions in the knowledge economy?

Focus and work hard at work..and then leave it to enjoy the rest of life
Self-worth defined only by a job and career is a hollow self-worth. We need to examine the focus and balance of our lives from time to time to increase our sense of well-being. Life is fluid. The focus changes over time.

Worklifebalance.com, a training and consulting company, lists four quadrants: work, family, friends and self.

Stephen Covey in ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ writes about self-esteem and direction bringing your perspective on life into focus, which then releases the capacity to act. He examines typical centers of our lives: spouse, family, money, work, possessions, pleasure, friend or enemy, church and self.

WorkLifeBalanceCentre.org in Great Britain has an online exercise that lets you select seven areas of your life beyond work (the eighth area). The site suggests possibilities: mental health, physical health, leisure time, relaxation, family, husband/wife/partner, spirituality, self-development, career development, home/lifestyle, travel, study, voluntary work, community and friends/socializing. You rate the areas by your current or wished-for focus. An interesting exercise. (http://www.worklifebalancecentre.org/briefguide.php)

Celebrate Labor Day
Take the time to appreciate what you have and think about
work, avocations and relationships,
the focus and balance in your life,
what you believe is living life well (the good life) and
what actions you can take to be happier with yourself.

The happier you are with yourself, the higher your capacity for showing kindness and respect to others, the hallmarks of civility.

This article covers how work invades your personal life, overtime obsession and ideas for striking the best work-life balance. It is very good.
MayoClinic.com Tools for healthier lives, Work-life balance: Ways to restore harmony and reduce stress

PBS Online NewsHour, The Origins of Labor Day

Take Time
Old English Prayer, Author Unknown

Take time to work, it is the price of success.
Take time to think, it is the source of power.
Take time to play, it is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read, it is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to be friendly, it is the road to happiness.
Take time to dream, it shows you what is possible.
Take time to give, it brings joy to your heart.
Take time to love and be loved, it is the privilege of the gods.
Take time to look around, it is too short a day to be selfish.
Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul.


A reminder from the 1700s:
"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(Born Aug. 28, 1749)

Excellent post. A great reminder to Take time. I especially like the Old English Prayer.

I look at nine areas of my life and lifestyle:

Have a great Labor Day weekend.