I grew up in Sacramento, California and attended the state and county fairs almost every year. It is always at the hottest time of the year, and I have fond memories of the rides (hands in the air, Zard!), food, and even the heat, when we’d find a fountain to cool off in.
When I moved to Colorado and was in my admittedly selfish twenties, I don’t think I knew where the county fair was staged, or even how to get there. Fast forward to having babies of my own, and it has become a staple in our summer activity lineup each year. We plan vacations around it, diligently write the events on the calendar (most recently adding the demolition derby), and attend events almost every day the fair runs. Where else can they watch a cow get a shower, talk to the 4-H students from the eastern plains, or come face to face with a goat?
I changed jobs last fall, and my previous position did not require a set schedule, so I could complete my work whenever I pleased, aka flex time. My current job is in support, and requires a 9 to 5 presence, and I chose not to spend vacation days on the county fair this year. And I missed it! I practically demanded that my husband take the children to the required activities.
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Like the Pedal Tractor Pull for example, which they both love!
And I think now that Labor Day has officially passed, and the weather feels like fall some days, I’m mourning summer a bit.
Flexibility in the work place is a huge perk, and one that I took full advantage of, often working in the evenings after the kiddos were in bed, working holidays to take a day off when campgrounds were less crowded, and leaving early to attend school functions. When the option for flexible schedules is available, it creates an environment of mutual respect in the workplace. Employees are recognized for their workload and accomplishments, versus the “face time” in the office. Employees also have more confidence and pride in completing their work, knowing they’re a trusted entity to get it done in a timely fashion, even if the timetable is their own.
This mourning of summer gone has me scheduling days off during the county fair next year, and quite possibly, one more camping trip this year. Where’s the spaceship to take me there?