Today is Labor Day in the US. This weekend, most of my friends and neighbors packed up some of their stuff, their kids and dogs and went on trips. Camping trips, short stays at motels, family visits, and day trips. What did we do? We cleaned out and organized our home office and the garage. Otherwise we did a whole bunch of nothing. We don’t have a BBQ planned either.
There is this notion that you have to do certain things on certain dates. Labor day is for saying good bye to summer and for a last break before the next big family thing in November, that is Thanksgiving. Well, around here we still have at least one more month of summer temperatures to deal with and the whole extended family thing is not happening anyway, because they all live a continent away. Those are the practical reasons for us not to join in. However there is also this feeling of differentiation. Why should I do something, just because everyone else does it? Why go on the road, when you know they will be jammed? Why go to the zoo on the one day you know it will be over crowded? Why eat food prepared a certain way when you are not a real fan of it anyway? Why should I fulfill somebody else’s expectations on the use of my time? It just doesn’t sit well with me. So, I guess not going anywhere on labor day is in a small way an assertion of my freedom to think for myself, rather than following tradition for tradition’s sake.