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BellaOnline's African American Culture Editor


Rest, Relax and Enjoy Labor Day Weekend


In light of all that is going on in our lives, in the African-American community, in the world at large—I hope that we can take this last official holiday of the summer, to enjoy our family and friends, and to relax before returning to the arduous tasks that face each and every one of us on daily basis.

There are so many things that we have to contend with. I don’t know about you, but my mind and body are both screaming for a reprieve. Even if it’s just a day to unwind, and forget about the many “issues” on the table, and give myself a chance to take a breath.

I do not envy the president. Not in the least. A bit of vacation time for him, and he is inundated with burrowed brows and accusations of being the worse president ever, as America goes to hell in a hand basket. No thank you. Would never want to trade places.

The truth of the matter is, no matter who you are, what you do for a living—rest time, or vacation time is a must in order to recharge and prepare for what lies ahead. We cannot continue to work and work without there being a time to rejuvenate. I’m inclined to follow the traditions of Spain and Italy—of having a siesta. They shut down for a couple of hours—usually three—during the warmest time of the day. There’s no business being taken care of. Just relaxation, eating, and sharing time with family and friends. And yes, even sleeping! Some restaurants and bars observe their “siestas” at later times between four and eight in the evening.

As you get older, you look at things differently. And hopefully you can find an appreciation for things that you used to find fault with. My Grams had it right: take a nap and recharge! As a child, she’d make her grandchildren all take a nap in the late afternoon before we were allowed to go out again. Man! We fought those naps all the way. Yet, as we look back now, we never realized that we actually had ten times more energy after we’d taken a nap! Sure; my Grams also wanted us out her hair for a minute—we were really loud and energetic!—but after that “siesta”, we would play a few more hours, have dinner, prepare for bed and be out for the night; sleep before our heads hit the pillows. The next day, we’d repeat it all over!

Owning her own business, my Gram worked long hours. She’d go in at 7:00 AM and sometimes wouldn’t close her salon until 11-12 at night. I would spend some time in the salon, (as she was the only one I allowed to do my hair) and around 3:00 PM each day, she’d take a thirty minute nap. After that nap, she was recharged and refreshed.

I learned much from my family about working hard; being diligent and dedicated. But I also learned that there is a time for rest. And without that rest, we burn out too quickly, and can possibly make some grave mistakes. Enjoy this holiday weekend. Take time to relax and have uninhibited fun with your family and friends. Relax. Chill out. Because we both know, the calendar of events awaits you; especially for those with children and the beginning of school taking place.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Ruthe McDonald. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Ruthe McDonald. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ruthe McDonald for details.


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