As I am sure you can relate: Labor Day Weekend felt different this year. For many reasons, both good and bad, but this year there were more good reasons than bad for me.
Three years ago I remember being so frustrated I couldn’t get time off from my job at the time to go away with my friends for Labor Day Weekend. Although I had enough vacation time accrued, I couldn’t — if you’ve ever worked retail (any type), you know things are mainly handled on a first-come, first-served basis. So if you didn’t block that vacation time off, someone else would snatch it. I told myself that would be the last year I struggled with my holiday work-life balance. And it was … .
For the past two years, my typical LDW would have involved a friends-and-family beach day or a barbecue at an NYC park or in a relative’s backyard. Even with COVID-19 this year, we took precautions and had plans set in place to spend time with some friends, but things didn’t go as planned, and my week took a different turn. Instead of focusing on all the reasons I had to be upset and frustrated, I chose to focus on using the time off to relax, reflect and recharge.
My boyfriend and I stayed at his parents’ house with our spotted best friends and had the most relaxing weekend. It involved bike rides and evening strolls with the pups and a trip to Shady Brook Farm for fresh produce and cheese — the three-year aged cheddar is exquisite, and the vibe around noon on Saturday was great (make sure to read Mary Melnick’s blog about her Girls’ Night Out at the patio for more details). We didn’t stop there, though! We swam a lot, got some fires going and ate some finger-licking good dishes made by us. On Sunday night I had my first gelati ever from Yardley Ice House. I chose the vanilla custard and cookies and cream ice, and oh-my-God (*Janice voice*), it was delicious!
You may be asking yourself, “How is she relaxed after all that?” Here’s the thing: In order to see my friends and family, I have to plan in advance to have them come to see me or go to New York City to spend time with them, so whenever I have time off from work, I try my best to spend it with them. As the reasons we couldn’t see our friends were beyond our control, I felt as though I was forced to take a step back and take a break from planning for and hosting others and focus on myself.
Although it may feel like we are all just rolling with the punches this year, sometimes that is all you can do, and the trick is to live the best life you can while adapting and adjusting. This Labor Day weekend was not what I expected, but it was great nonetheless.
— Yasser Ogando, production & advertising coordinator
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