This is it: Labor Day Weekend. A.k.a., the last gasp of summer. And while most people think of this upcoming weekend as an ending to the season, it’s probably more rewarding to think of it as a beginning. Almost like another New Year’s Eve, in a way. Here’s why.
Our lives are all about to incredibly crazy. Our own schedules are about to speed up in a huge way for fall—everything from school meetings and social events to the holidays—it’s all about to kick in. And then there are the legions of the people who rely on us to be there for them: family, friends, work colleagues, you name it—it’s about to kick in for them too, which means more pressure and more time crunch for us to help them out.
I’m not saying that to stress you out. (I promise!) I’m saying it because Labor Weekend is a fantastic opportunity to look back at our summers and think about everything we’ve done during it—work, play, and in between, and how we can take away lessons from all that happened to make our fall as productive and joyful as we can. Think of this weekend as the perfect stopping point, the calm before the storm, to reflect on everything we want to accomplish in autumn.
I highly recommend making a list of all the things you come up with, just like so many people do only at New Year’s. Maybe for you that means just an organized, practical rundown of things you need to get done in the next few months (renew your license; get the dog to the vet; donate those jeans you’ve been meaning to admit don’t fit you anymore; tackle the garden, etc.), or maybe it’s a list of everyday behaviors you want to adopt (train for a road race; start taking more photos; switch your coffee to decaf… or switch your decaf to regular). It could also be a few more relationship-based goals: Try to listen to your dad’s boring stories with more interest; reconnect with your college roommate; try to be more present for your kids, even when you’re busy as anything trying to get everything else done). Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Just make sure it’s what you really want to happen, and be as specific as you can with each item—psychologists insist that those two factors are key to really making a goal happen.
So while your weekend is sure to be filled with laughter and fun with family and friends—which is (of course) much deserved and hugely important, taking a few moments out for yourself to do some personal homework, too. That focus will reward you enormously in the season (and hopefully far beyond) to come. Happy Labor Day!