Labor Day, as my husband likes to remind me while he’s settling onto the sofa with the remote in one hand and a tall glass of iced tea in the other, is the day off for those who work hard at their jobs. Who don’t spend half their day looking off into space. Or take off in the middle of the day to go pick up a really cool pair of shoes because they couldn’t figure out the end of that scene. Not for those who never, ever break a sweat, not even when their characters are running for their lives from a nearsighted cow with scent confusion issues.
Hey, I work hard. Sort of. My work is simply all mental. So what if my thigh muscles have become Jell-O and my butt is wider than the Grand Canyon. It still fits in the chair and serves as a good anchor for the hours I spend on it, thinking. And thinking, as any good writer will tell you, is hard work.
Okay, so it’s not “labor.” Not like the labor I remember in the delivery room having my two kids. That was serious labor, at least until the epidural guy showed up and, with one prick of the needle, proved to me it is possible to be in love with two men at one time in the same room. Writing is also not the labor that comes after the kids are born, when you’re running after them, trying to head off one emergency after another, while gobbling peanut butter sandwich crusts for sustenance.
It’s certainly not the labor of working a job like construction or landscaping. Or even the labor I went through yesterday scraping off wallpaper (don’t tell my husband, but yes, he was right, wallpaper is the invention of the devil and if I ever think of hanging it again, please shoot me). That’s hard work.
The kind of thing I try to stay away from. I’ve gotten way too used to this cushy chair.
Okay, so maybe I don’t work hard. At all. But I do think hard. Some days. Well, some hours. Okay, some minutes of some hours. It’s not my fault I get distracted easily. Tell the neighbors to quit hiring cute, shirtless landscapers.
Nevertheless, I still think I deserve to take Labor Day off. And that means I also deserve to have the remote in one hand, a glass of iced tea in the other. I have, after all, labored pretty hard at this thinking and writing thing. I've created characters from scratch, given them lifelong problems, created whole towns in a single afternoon. Heck, even Superman couldn't do that.
See? I work hard. Just because you can’t see the sweat on my brow doesn’t mean it isn’t there. :-)