Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Few Thoughts About Labor Day

This is Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer in America, a three-day weekend devoted to outdoor grilling; gridlock; and for most, the last chance to get a really painful sunburn until next summer.

I think it's a good idea to kick back and relax from time to time. Just the same, I also think that the best sort of relaxing isn't doing nothing: it's doing something different.

"A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity...."
Thomas Jefferson, to Martha Jefferson, 1787, quoted in "The Jeffersonian cyclopedia" John P. Foley (1900)

That "mind always employed" doesn't have to mean solving problems with differential calculus, sculpting a bust of Palls, or unscrewing the inscrutable. It could be perfecting your golf swing, paying attention to the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of a lake, or reading that book you were going to get around to.

Enough philosophizing. My second-oldest daughter got married this weekend, and I've got to catch up on sleep.

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