As we approach Labor Day this coming Monday, let’s pause for a moment of gratitude:
1. I can read! According to Live Science, as recently as 2009, 14% (1 in 7) of American adults were considered illiterate. 14 Percent of U.S. Adults Can’t Read | Live Science Historically, women were less likely to be literate than men. As a woman, I am a thankful reader.
2. I can work longer. Writing is difficult but not physically taxing. Because writers don’t wear out their bodies early through hard labor or risk injury by using heavy equipment, older writers can choose to keep writing. Or just keep reading!
3. Weather conditions have little impact on my work. Since he earned his livelihood as a farmer, my grandfather walked onto the front stoop every night and stared upward at the sky to ascertain the weather conditions for the following day. One year, hail destroyed the crops, leaving the family without a source of food or income. In contrast, writers can write and profit through all types of weather.
4. Food is easy to obtain. My husband doesn’t have to hope he can shoot a hapless rabbit randomly crossing his path while I gather berries in the nearby patch. Unlike my aunt long ago, I don’t have to run into the chicken yard and grab the slowest bird, swing it in the air to wring its neck, pluck its feathers, and then fry it for dinner. Nor must we spend hours hoping to snag whatever fish bites. I prefer visiting the market and pointing to my preferred fresh fish from a variety of ten, filleted and ready for the oven. When they were small, I always told my daughters that even King Solomon would struggle to find beautiful, fresh fruit off-season that was available to us every day.
5. I can specialize. My grandmothers had to know how to cook and preserve food for the winter months, crochet, knit, and sew to provide clothing for the family. They had to be skilled at all sorts of tasks in running a household. Likewise, the men needed to be handy, with a range of knowledge. I enjoy cooking, along with many other household tasks. However, I can crochet and embroider for enjoyment. My family doesn’t depend on my skills. Writers can concentrate on work they love: writing.
6. I don’t have to clock in or out. Most writers set a schedule, but the luxury of not worrying about being docked for 30 seconds of tardiness is not something everyone enjoys.
7. I work indoors with heat and air conditioning. Yeah, those things. I’m so grateful.
I realize that many people today love working at jobs that are considered traditional labor. After a long day on the clock, some of those people go home and write. My hat’s off to you!
In honor of Labor Day, let me take a moment to thank everyone who works in such jobs as farming and trucking, and in factories, warehouses, stores, and performing other labor that makes our country a great place to live. Every day, you provide your fellow citizens with the ability to live better than ever. Because of you, those of us in publishing are free to do what we love.
OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU
This was a pleasure to read! It was great being reminded of how blessed we are as writers in those categories you mentioned ,which most of us might take for granted.As Tesco says, ‘Every little helps’, but we thank God for huge and tiny mercies, which both bless us as writers. God bless you Tamela and thanks for the post!
DAMON J GRAY
Just a slight shift in perspective can transition us from a whiner to a praiser, and we can say with Paul, “Do all things without grumbling.”
I appreciate the truth behind each of your items listed above, and yes, I am up between four and five each morning to work on writing, speaking, and building platform before “punching the clock” for my day job just as you noted. My gratitude flows upstream to you, Tamela – you who do what you do so we can do what we do with less burden.
Thank you for the service YOU perform on our behalf.
He could have been a Pharisee,
or come here as a king,
or anyone He chose to be,
But He drew first earthly breath
without wealth or highborn name
to humble folk from Nazareth
whence no good ever came.
He did rough work with callused hands
(so far from smooth Divinity!)
do we’d know our Lord did understand
how hard our lives could be…
and I wonder what rolled off His tongue
when hammer missed, and whacked His thumb.
Sally Valentine Steinmiller
As a retired teacher, my new year never began on January 1, but has always begun on Labor Day. Thanks for this post, Tamela. I will keep in mind these reasons for gratitude as I begin my new year, this time as a writer.
Kristen Joy Wilks
What a great reminder, Tamela! I am so thankful for the hardworking teachers who welcomed my sons to school this week, the guys at the tire store where I took my flat tire, and my hardworking husband who accomplishes the non-traditional job of Camp Director with so much joy within the daily grind! Yes, I am so blessed to be able to both read and write as well!
#1. Being able to read. My sister worked in corrections for many years. I asked her if it is possible to predict what person will end up in prison. She said that if a person can’t read on a fifth grade level by the time they’re in the eighth grade the chances of going to jail are much higher than those who can read at that level.
Let’s write stories that will appeal to children! Help them enjoy reading.
Janet Ann Collins
Thank you for this post. It’s one of the many things I’m thankful for.
Carol R Nicolet Loewen
Amen, Tamela. I appreciate your recognition of the very many ways different people contribute to our world, and to our ability to write. My life could have been very different without good teachers who taught me to read and write. Without my parents’ examples of a strong work ethic. Without my father’s hard work as a contractor of beautiful homes and my mother’s constant support, including taking a temporary job as a cook in an elementary school when houses weren’t selling.
I too am grateful for each of these, and for other work people do, sometimes out of necessity and other times because of love for the job itself.
Thanks for a great post!
Thank you for a wonderful post. It is a reminder for all to remember the workers that do the difficult jobs that make it possible for others to more easily perform their jobs/ writing/ editing and more.
Awesome! I’m going to be a lot more thankful for my job this Labor Day Weekend. And I’m thankful for the computer techies who build and maintain my computer so I can write with so much more ease than in my college days with my beat-up Smith Corona typewriter.
Thanks to God, we can do all of that labor by choice. I love writing, but garden, canning, and so on are vital because they’re physical and doing physical helps rest the mind and make it work harder. Walk in His beauty
Patti Jo Moore
Excellent reminders for us, Tamela.
Thank you for sharing.
Have a safe, happy Labor Day (and Birthday)! 😉
yes – amen! I often think about this kind of thing when I’m canning something or sewing a quilt (with my machine – thank the Lord!!). And there are times I fantasize what I would need to do to take care of my family if we lost things like electric. Blessed electric that we are so used to and is so wonderful!
I *can* sew by hand.
I *can* cook over a fire.
I *can* butcher my own meat.
I *can* use a typewriter.
I *can* plant and care for a garden.
But dang … ya know?
So thankful God chose me to be born in this time era and in America! And so very thankful for the wisdom, ideas, and ability He gave to those who invented the things we use today with very little thought.
Until a storm knocks out our power.