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Worldwide Ace » Man-made Holiday

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Man-made Holiday

19 February, 2011 (08:18) | Work

Every year, at Passover, Jews ask the four questions. It just so happens that it’s really just one question with four variant answers: “Why is this night different from all other nights?”

This weekend is Presidents Day weekend. The federal holiday falls on February 21st this year, the 3rd Monday in February as mandated by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1971. Officially, it celebrates George Washington’s birthday (February 22) and, more recently, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12).

As with all the strange created holidays we seem to celebrate, I’ve begun wondering what makes this day different from all other days. I’ve claimed before that I feel that birthdays are arbitrary, as are dates, days of the week, and most holidays. The exceptions are the natural occurrences like solstices and equinoxes. Even those, however, only help mark the passage of time.

So why are we arbitrarily labeling days of rest? The best argument is that we need them. As with most of our federal three day weekends, people seem to use them to play: camping; barbecuing; parties. Presidents Day marks the busiest ski weekend of the year in the US.

Perhaps a little surprisingly, I’m avoiding work to go play among the crowds.

Most of my coworkers seem stunned when they realize that I’m not at Eldora again officially until Wednesday. My supervisors double and triple checked the schedule, but I know I left myself time to play. After all, last Monday was my first day off of work (besides sick days) since before Thanksgiving. I’ve had two free ski days at other resorts this year, and both came before Eldora opened.

I’m not sure what exactly I’m celebrating this weekend. There’s no script to follow that explains it like there is with Passover. There’s no tradition, either familial or national, that I care to partake in. A small part of me feels guilty I’m not pushing myself further and working like many of my friends and coworkers, but at the same time, I worry I might burn out if I worked among the throngs this weekend.

Today, I’m headed to A-Basin for the afternoon; tomorrow I hit Steamboat. On Monday, it’s likely back to A-Basin, assuming my strange and awkward ride arrangements work out. If no one’s headed up for Tuesday, it’s likely back to work a day early.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to avoid the crowds and get some good turns in. If all goes to plan, I’ll be back up to Copper next Monday and Tuesday for my freestyle specialist certification (I’m currently waitlisted). Regardless, I’m going to take this weekend to relax and finally enjoy a day off.

If nothing else, I think I’ve earned it.