a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.
the period from Friday evening through Sunday evening especially regarded as a time for leisure.
an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling.
It’s a Saturday, and I am typing away on my laptop playing the role of writer for our blog. I have my earphones on, listening to Johnny Cash’s, “When the Man comes Around”, scanning the living room for inspiration on what to write next, and I see my daughter giggling over something she’s watching on YouTube and my wife, like me, working on something for our blog.
I realize how fortunate I am to even have this kind of Saturday. It wasn’t long ago, during my long tenure in High-Fashion Retail, that the words defined above did not apply to my life, nor my wife’s for that matter as we were both in the same industry.
College Football Games
In the nascent stages of our careers, it meant working most Saturdays as it was the most productive sales day of the week. No problem, we were young, eager and driven. Gone, however, were the afternoon College Football Games, weekend getaways, drinking in the middle of the afternoon, etc. A few years in, stores started to open on Sundays, which led to even less of a chance of getting a weekend off. This meant, no Church, no Professional Football Games, no Long Brunches, etc. Bigger blows came later, no more Columbus Day, Memorial, and Labor Days. Slim as it was to get a full weekend off, chances of a long weekend didn’t exist. Then came the knockout punch, added to the work schedule were Independence Day, Easter and New Year’s Day.
Visions of spending the day curing a hangover, or barbecuing with friends and family started to become more and more faint. The worse were the days preceding and proceeding the big Holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. When everyone else was able to really enjoy the season, we were left to making the most out of one day, with the nagging thought hanging over our head that the net day would, in fact, be some of the hardest working days of the year. There was Black Friday, A.K.A. a day for sale customers and The day after Christmas, which sometimes meant a day of returns.
Laughing through our tears.
This started to become the pattern of our history. Years went by, missing holidays, weekends, dinners, lunches, and events that could never be recaptured. But for two decades we were in a state of delusion, as our jobs availed my wife and I the opportunity to wear the most coveted clothing on our backs. It afforded us many luxurious dinners and vacations (when time permitted). In reality, we were just laughing through our tears.
Then came the birth of our daughter. All of a sudden, there was that sinking feeling every Saturday when we had to leave her with my wife’s sister. On the subway, we would watch other families with canvas totes on their way to the beach or huddled together having cocoa after a day of skating in the park. We would often hear about all the firsts our daughter had. Like the first time, she went skiing and went down the hill many times without a fall. Or the many apple-picking outings she took part in without us. We would hear about how she would get quiet during certain parts of the day, missing her mother and me. The list continued to grow.
Three Generations walking into church
On Sundays, we would see three generations walking into a church or having brunch together. I would see Facebook posts of my friends enjoying the Giants football game at our favorite bar sending me texts wishing I was there with them.
[Tweet “On Black Friday, instead of extending Thanksgiving weekend, we were stuck at work longer than usual.”]
On Black Friday, instead of extending Thanksgiving weekend, we were stuck at work longer than usual. Even worse, on the 26th of December, when most were still celebrating the big day, we were already in work mode and the Holiday music switched back to the normal playlist as if Christmas never happened.
We thought about our daughter all the time, wishing that she was able to experience those special days with us, and we with her. The fancy dinners, the designer clothing, the 5-Star accommodations were no longer of value.
We cashed in our chips.
When news started to leak that some stores were thinking about opening on Thanksgiving, we cashed in our chips. We decided to stop weighing everything by gain. We were bankrupt inside. How could it get worse? So we said goodbye to the business and pursued a life which is not as financially profitable and or stable, but a life that afforded us our Holidays, our Weekends, and our Vacations. Well, the last one is a bit of a disclaimer as we are traveling full-time these days, doing our best to grow our business and grow together as a family.
So, here I am on a Saturday, scanning the room for some inspiration. I don’t need to look too far, they are there right in front of me. This man has definitely come around, and for the sake of many of my friends, it is my hope that the industry comes around as well.
Here’s some Holiday News worth reading: