52 Sundays: Henry Ford
Sunday, January 7, 2018
We have Henry Ford to thank for the weekend.
Way before the the federal government and labor unions began limiting companies to a 40-hour work week in 1938, Henry Ford began to give his factory workers a two-day weekend around 1905. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the fact that before the Industrial Revolution occurred, it was common throughout the world to simply work 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week.
But Henry Ford believed that if he gave his employees both Saturday and Sunday off from the factory, they would be more efficient Monday-Friday. He also wanted to sell the cars his workers were making and knew that if he gave his employees time off to drive and enjoy his automobiles, he would sell more cars.
So does this mean we actually take the weekend to not work? If you are like me, you do laundry. You go to the grocery store. You run the 342 errands you’ve put off till the weekend. Is that time off? We associate days off now with catching up on your life and the many things that require attention. A haircut. A trip to the vet. Cleaning underneath your bed.
We average 52 Sundays in one year. And gosh darn it, I’m going to take those 52 Sundays to enjoy my life. I’m going to shut down my computer. I’m going to grow my hair. I’m going to keep the mystery box underneath my bed a mystery. I instead am going to go learn what brings me joy. I’m going to take an extra trip to Central Park with my dogs, Hugo and Banjo. I’m going to open the many cookbooks that are sitting in my kitchen and try out some new dishes. I’m going to stop and ask the people in my neighborhood who I see everyday their name. I’m going to read the books on my nightstand. I’m going to go to brunch. I haven’t gone to brunch in over a year. That’s just silly. My dear friend and Hugo/Banjo’s Godmother, Jodi Bluestein calls it a “Non-judgemental Day of Rest.”
And I’m going to write about it. My 52 Sundays and the people and stories that inspire me. I am giving myself permission NOT to feel the need to “one-up” my posts, but to keep them honest and where I am on my path. (That’s YOU holding me accountable for not feeling I need to make each one better, funnier, more inspired, or more interesting)
Let’s do this.