Last Friday, I looked ahead to the 3-day holiday weekend to come and wondered how I’d celebrate Labor Day, and simply decided “I’ll labor.”
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Labor as in make something.
Labor as in the intensely concentrated work of physical creation.
I wanted to make something from scratch. With my own two hands. With my labor. Simply because I am able to do so.
Doing it would celebrate it, that is, celebrate the labor.
I wouldn’t process or better organize.
I wouldn’t repurpose or reinvent.
I wouldn’t write about a new idea.
I would make something that I would use.
I wouldn’t plan, strategize, or talk about my work, I’d get it done. I’d get ‘making something’ done.
Bell pepper seeds drying on the kitchen counter, and destined for the vegetable garden.
By the end of Saturday I’d made a new handbag from a long-stored bag of yarn skeins, warming up to my labor in a tactile and colorful way.
Sunday I made a raised bed for my garden, trading in my crochet needle for shovel and rake.
Monday I thought about the work-for-hire I do in business, and I made a self-coaching journal for a client who loves the feel of paper more than using her laptop. I’m confident she’ll get way more effective with her Weekly Review having that tabbed, personalized journal to help her.
Ho‘ohana work in progress
This attitude of laboring has continued to affect my workweek as I’ve returned to my scheduled tasks and continually asked myself, “How can I shape this task into a labor of love (the Aloha I talk about here, and in Managing with Aloha), and keep this love of labor going?”
Good stuff is happening. It feels pleasingly different from my old routines, and yet it feels comforting, like a return to what work does when it produces true usefulness.
Labor, and how great it feels, is something we’ve lost remembrance of in so many workplaces. Let’s get it back.
What can laboring, and the feel of satisfying labor be in your workplace?
What can you do to make it happen?