Editorial - Finding real time-off for family increasingly difficult

Family Day was Monday, a made up holiday that gets some of us off work, which is at least a good-intentioned reason for the day's existence.

Of course the idea of days off that allow families to gather and simply enjoy times sans punching a clock for 24-hours is largely a mirage in this era, even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit making it a wise choice to stay away from others for the good of community health.

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Increasingly, days off, at least ones that are collectively taken because they are statutory in nature, are simply words on a calendar.

In the current era rarely does the commercial world ever close its doors affording most to take a day off enmasse.

One wonders how the world worked in the 1960s and 1970s when it was almost unheard for a business beyond a corner gas station to be open on a Sunday, and most towns, at least here in Saskatchewan still saw a general closing one other day a week as well.

Imagine stores today only being open five-days a week.

Of course evening shopping was rare 40-years ago too. Late night shopping one night a week, typically Thursday, was a bold step in its day.

Today, many stores stay open extended hours every day of the week.

Our need to buy soda and chips on a whim has simply meant somebody must work the tills and fill the shelves almost everyday of the week.

And, of course there have always been careers where someone still has to work through each and every holiday; police, nurses, road crews if a storm hits, utility works on-call, train operators and the list goes one.

We live in an age with the world literally at our fingertips through technology in a mobile phone.

We have conveniences our grandparents would never have dreamt as even possible.

Yet increasingly to get off the treadmill of life is nearly impossible - even this editorial is being written on Family Day afternoon, stat holidays rarely impacting the deadlines at a weekly newspaper.

At present the City of Yorkton is working to revamp its cultural plan, and maybe the reality that collective days off where we as a community can actually gather to relax without keeping an eye on the time as we have a shift upcoming should be noted.

We are not going to turn back the clock to those days of closed stores and almost community-wide relaxation, but we should need to be aware that a statutory holiday is not what it once was in terms of getting away from our jobs to gather with family and friends.

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