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.