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Reflections on My First Labor Day

Labor Day was first celebrated in America in New York in 1882. It was imported from Canada by Labor Unions to celebrate workers and protest working conditions. It was not a national holiday until 1894. It was placed in September to fall between July 4th and Thanksgiving. Life and working conditions have continually gotten better but we as humans have trouble looking beyond our current situation and conditions to give us perspective.

This is the first Labor Day weekend I have had off ever in my professional career. As a collegiate coach for 25 years we were in-season and the team would typically lift weights on Labor Day. I chose to take my Labor elsewhere this year for many and various reasons, but one was the opportunity to spend time with my family and pursue more hobbies like hunting. Because of this choice I was in attendance on Friday night when my father-in-law was inducted into the Bertha Hewitt Hall of Fame where he coached and taught for 33 years. In previous years I would have missed this being on the road, in the hotel with the football team.

On Saturday, I was able to take Kylie out shooting with my father-in-law in preparation for her first year deer hunting. I sighted in my new rifle as my father-in-law worked with her on gun safety and practiced shooting. I also shot my grandfather’s old 303 British rifle for the first time.

After watching some college football, we then checked out the deer stands and cleared some brush to improve sight and shooting lanes. Sunday after church we went to the lake while the kids swam and road the tube. Labor Day has been the unofficial end to summer for most people all along. For me it was always early August when football would report to camp. This day at the lake was a unique end to summer for this guy. Today we drove and met my parents for breakfast before driving back to South Dakota. It was a joyful weekend filled with family and hobbies instead of labor and for that I am grateful.

As I reflect on this, my first Labor Day, I am thankful for all those who fought for better working conditions. I am grateful to live in this time in this great country that has allowed me to Labor in relatively easy professions and to provide for my family. Last year I wrote about a mine disaster that happened almost 100 years ago in in “Life Isn’t Fair” in which many men died trying to provide for their families. Looking back allows me to broaden my perspective and creates thankfulness for what I have. It is easy to look around and want more, more money, more free time, more everything. That is the human condition. When I look around with the broad perspective, I see how blessed I am. I am blessed to have had two separate careers that I enjoy and provide abundance for me and my family. If I look back at the Great Depression, there were many people who wanted and needed to work but could not find it. We are blessed to live in a capitalist country that has provided so many blessing and pulled millions and millions out of poverty. I followed my passion for 25 years and it was great but it does not define me. I am now pursuing a completely different field and what I have found is I still have great pride and get great satisfaction from my work. I like what Mike Rowe says about work. He says don’t follow your passion but instead find something you can do that people need, then work really hard at it and you will end up having a passion for it and be rewarded financially for it. I am not saying you should stay in a job you hate and just be grateful for the work. Not at all, I left a job because it no longer fit with my life goals. I am saying we should appreciate what we do have and one of those things is an abundance of opportunities for different jobs. Not every day of work is going to be fun I mean it is called Labor for a reason. Strength training is not always fun either. Doing a heavy set of deadlifts is not always a walk in the park but just like work it is always rewarding and provides immeasurable benefits. There are so many companies out there looking to hire but cannot find the people. I am excited to have a job that I love with a company that cares. Summit Contracting ( is looking for great people who want to take pride and enjoy their work. Come climb the Summit with me and let's build something together. Just as things have gotten better over the years the future is bright and the the future of Ag is Building


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Sep 06, 2022

I really appreciate and respect your grateful and positive perspective on work! Thank

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