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Posts Tagged ‘finances’

Labor Day seems a fitting holiday to talk about this subject.

Later this week, I’m getting a free spicy chicken biscuit from Chick-Fil-A.  Yummmm.  That could become a very very bad habit, so I limit myself to visiting them just a few times a year.  But in addition to addictive chicken sandwiches, I really appreciate this eatery for being closed on Sundays. Ditto for Hobby Lobby, another favorite place of mine.  I am very loyal to stores that give their employees one day a week off, and to the stores that close on holidays.

An idea has been rolling around my head for some time now:  what if all of America rolled back the clock a bit, and carved out a “day of rest” each week and holidays? I’ve started planning meals for Sunday so we can eat at home more often than not.  Occasionally we still eat out at lunch or dinner; it takes time to change a very ingrained habit but I’m working on it. I predict the crockpot will become my BFF on Sundays.

Apparently I’m not alone in my longing to simplify and slow down our life, at least one day a week.   I even found a blog post that advocates bringing back blue laws.

It would be nice to see this more often

I don’t think we necessarily need any laws to make this happen – as consumers we have tremendous clout. Just say no to shopping on one day a week. Traditionally that day has been Sunday. If we all did it every week, there would be no need for stores, restaurants and movie theaters to be open that day.  Without any sales, they’d soon find it in their best interest to close their doors and give their staff a day off.

Yes, hourly employees need to work in order to get paid, but somehow hourly employees managed to get in their hours back when stores were only open six days a week. If we did it before, I’m pretty sure we could do it again.

Think of the good things that could happen if all retail establishments closed on Sundays and holidays:

1. More time for us to relax and rest. Whether we choose to spend our time worshiping or in quiet contemplation, or socializing with friends and family, the possibilities are endless. Enjoying a leisurely Sunday meal, whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch or supper. Hanging out in our own or someone else’ living room or backyard, going for a walk, picnicking in a public park or enjoying a public beach. In this frenetic life we live, time is far more scarce and precious than money What a stress reliever to have 24 hours each week to just BE instead of scurrying around and spending money to amuse ourselves.

2. Less traffic and reduced emissions. I don’t think people would ramp up their driving the other six days of the week – I think we’d all simply drive less if we didn’t have anyplace to go on that one day a week when everything is shut down. Think of all the gas we’d save, plus wear and tear on our roads and highways, AND we’d give the atmosphere a much-needed break from emissions.

3. Learning the discipline of delayed gratification and how to “make do or do without” – at least temporarily. We have come to rely on having everything at our disposal 24/7. Necessity is the mother of invention and it’s character building to learn that if you didn’t get what you needed the day before, you’ll have to improvise or wait.

4. Spending time, not money.  Gasp. I know; that’s crazy talk in this nation of consumerism. Our leaders tell us the economy needs us to buy more stuff.  That’s bunk, and we don’t have to buy what they’re selling.  Less time to shop means less shopping.  And more time to spend appreciating the things we already have and learning to esteem what’s really important – like people and simple pursuits:  take a walk, toss a hook in the water, fly a kite, make a picnic, read a book, take a nap.  Be honest:  don’t those sound like a lot more fun than acquiring more stuff we don’t really need, or standing in line with a bunch of other restless souls to see a movie or get on an amusement park ride?

So who’s with me? Are you willing to give up patronizing all retail establishments one day each week? Can we stand to stay away from the stores on Thanksgiving Day?  If so, be sure to make your voice heard: tell the store managers WHY you will not be patronizing them on those days. Encourage them to close their doors and give their employees time off to enjoy with family and friends. Encourage your friends and family to join in with you. Together we can take back control of our schedules and have time to rest our minds, our wallets, and our planet.

Happy resting,

Photo copyrighted to bluecinderella @ flickr.com

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