Labor Day is upon us and the celebrations will be with a new and strange twist this year. COVID-19 has morphed many jobs and stolen others. And one could argue that those who have had their jobs taken away due to the pandemic are still working hard despite the removal of a regular paycheck.
Life is hard, even harder during a pandemic. A paycheck is precious, and even more so when there is a keener concern it may be your last for a while. Work can be difficult, but unusually challenging when you are navigating new communication channels, access to technology, social distancing and so much more.
We work hard. This year, we have worked even harder. We look forward to play. We deserve to enjoy the day designed to celebrate our hard work. Labor Day is synonymous with gatherings. Fire up the grill. Pile plates with hamburgers, baked beans and deviled eggs. Fill the air with music and laughter. Dance. Sing. Hug.
And Labor Day marks the end of summer. The waning of warm, sunny, long days. A time to prepare for the fall season ahead. Labor Day is that last hoo-ha before we need to dig our sweaters out from the back of the closet and try to remember where we stashed our forgotten snow boots.
While the meaning behind Labor Day has never changed, perhaps the tradition of the day has clouded the intention some. One thing that the pandemic has not squelched is appreciation. While always there, I believe, gratitude for each other has grown even stronger. It is important to also recognize ourselves.
This Labor Day, while we might not be able to gather around the grill and celebrate in some of our other traditional ways, we can still strive to find a moment to rest and celebrate our labors and to show our appreciation of the work of others. The festivities of the day may be different due to COVID-19 concerns, but the meaning for the day will be stronger than ever. And while the laughter might be quieter and less hamburgers will be flipped on the grill, it can still be a day to celebrate — to honor the hard work that we all do.
Written and submitted by Amy Randall-McSorley for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.