Copyright 2013 Roberta Gallagher
As kids, Labor Day signals an ending. Summer is over, and with it all the fun and games with family, and the neighborhood pot luck gatherings.
For me, in New York City then, the first smells of autumn arrived with the slightly cooler breezes, and my anxieties about the beginning of school. Labor Day was a kind of mini last hurrah and a reminder that it was time to get serious again.
As adults, Labor Day honors the economic and social achievements of American workers. It’s a day that acknowledges the struggles for fairness and the rewards of effort.
Acknowledge Mutual Efforts
It’s also a perfect time to take a moment to reflect on the struggles in your relationship that you and your partner have labored to overcome.
Perhaps you’ve been working together to realize a shared dream. Celebrate your vision and the efforts so far in bringing that into reality.
Maybe your struggle has been to stay together through tough times, or to work through betrayals, loss of trust and other disappointments. You don’t have to like the situation that caused the hurt. But it can be healing to acknowledge to each other that you are hanging in there and working on it.
Outwardly showing gratitude to your partner for the labors and energy involved in co-creating financial stability also helps strengthen relationships. No one likes their contributions to the relationship and household to be taken for granted.
Verbally acknowledge the effort it takes to keep a household running, and thank one another for the mutual effort.
Labor Day now often reminds me of the work opportunities I have been given throughout my life. I began working at 15 and there was so much I learned about accountability and responsibility from the people who supervised me.
Those lessons are not so different from the accountability and responsibility we have in our love and friendship relationships. By acknowledging the big – and small — efforts that help keep your relationship in a good place, you’ll be giving each other the gift of feeling appreciated.
Good supervisors know that showing appreciation and support to their workers generates loyalty. The same principle works in personal relationships.