Chambray.  I have a well-known adoration for the fabric.  It’s the fabric that looks like denim, but feels like heaven.  It’s soft.  Sidenote: I’m always looking for new items in chambray. But the history of the fabric is even more interesting than my love for it.

Chambray was the fabric used for official Navy uniforms during WWII and became a staple of factory and defense workers – along with all of those doing manual labor.  Hence why the term “blue collar” worker arose.  The fabric and the shirt are synonymous with American workers.

I realized this would be a grind year. I dubbed it the “Blue Collar Work Year” far ahead.  Mostly because I know what needs to be done. A lot of work. Good and necessary work – still a lot of it.  Some of the work won’t be pretty, but it’s absolutely necessary.  It’s like ordering a Sears house kit and having to build a little bit every night when you get home.  You call your friends over to help you build the house.  You work on it daily. You may even find you have to hire people to help you build it.

The Sears Kit house. My love for bungalows also knows no bounds.

The Sears Kit house. My love for bungalows also knows no bounds.

This little house is so perfect.  It would have been the house I would have ordered, wanted to build.  I still want to build it honestly.  Peep how the description of the house reads “This design embodies strength, dignity and gracefulness.  It presents a most pleasing appearance and is of a character that will long retain popular favor.”  I want my life to read like this.  I need my life to reflect these qualities.  I’m well on my way.  However, the Sears house kit and chambray pretty much symbolize my life.

Yup – it’s that sort of year.  The work where you find you’re tired but satisfied because you can see progress and the progress keeps you motivated to do more, be faster, do better.

I’ve had fires turned up under my ass as the years have gone by.  Deadlines, relationships, wanting to impress other people.  It’s part of the process of being young at times.  But this year feels different.  Because it is.  I’m not focused on the same things as I used to be.  But it happens like then when life gets real.  I lost my the tolerance and care for the bullshit. I even call bullshit on myself.  I mean who gon’ check me boo?

I’ve also let a lot of things slide over the years.  Work needing to be done.   Sometimes it’s the things that are biggest on the list.  The things that need to be done but you’re afraid to accomplish, tackle, deal with – whatever it is.

I keep talking about it because it’s something each of us has to deal with – I mean, if you’re not dealing with it and haven’t had to – then you and I need to talk.  You’re not afraid of anything? There’s nothing you put off?

I think of my grandparents often.  My grandmother used to work in a defense plant here in Maryland.  She and her sister would ride across the Delaware line to work every day. My grandfather worked in a tire plant, making tires for over 30 years.  My parents have worked extremely hard.  When I was telling my Dad it was about to be a blue collar grind year, he chuckled and said “I know about those.”  This space is just a year where things that need to change, are changing and being changed.  It’s a process.

It used to be that houses took a year or more to build.  Possibly because people were ordering Sears house kits and needed to start from scratch, or at least with a solid foundation.  I’m heading back to the old model of structuring my life.  Maybe that’s why the houses have lasted through the years.

I’m thankful for the ability to plan, work, build and the hope of a lasting product and a good life.

What’s your year look like?  Is it a year of work?  A year of reaping the benefits?  Strategizing? Planning? Building?  Loving?  All of the above?

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4 thoughts on “The Blue Collar Work Year

  1. trinityizreal

    When you talk about letting things slide, I think that we can want things or know that we are capable of handling having them but I wonder if our letting it slide is simply because we aren’t ready for them…as far as where we are and what it would take to manage/maintain them. Is timing a necessary factor or is that our own doubt delaying what is already possible for us? What does my year look like? It will look like growth. Will it show up tangibly – I don’t know. This may sound strange but this is the year for me to establish myself and what I want – it’s a year for me to get clear about what I need and/or/vs. what I want to build. I think I’ve gotten caught up, in the past, that others were building that I just grabbed their scraps and started trying to get them to stand (strong) without having a reason and/or foundation for building. I have personal progress to make and I’m excited about it. I’m not an avid reader but I’m trying to grow there for sure. I just read, The Alchemist, for the first time and I enjoyed it. I plan to write more this year and be open to all else that comes with it. [I would love to have a fulfilling career and not a mere job...but I can wait for that while I'm working on me = process]. I’ve actually been thinking about legacy and what meaning my interaction has for others – so, that’s interesting. Anyways, your posts are always on time. Thanks! Hoping that you are working smarter and enjoying yourself!


    1. Rae Post author

      I am sure spending the year establishing yourself is something that will be both difficult (at times) but completely worth it. I’m excited for you too! It’s so easy to get caught up in the progress of others and get discouraged about our own progress. Legacy takes time to figure out and build. I am still working on mine. I’m definitely working smarter and enjoying the year so far. I’m thankful.


  2. Eva

    “‘This design embodies strength, dignity and gracefulness. It presents a most pleasing appearance and is of a character that will long retain popular favor.’ I want my life to read like this.”

    I want my life to read like that too… Can I get that on something other than my headstone? I don’t want to wait until I’m dead to remind myself that I am/was supposed to be awesome.


    1. Rae Post author

      For the record – you are awesome! You know we got work to do. You know I chose that little house without even reading the description. I definitely want it in a bio or an introduction. I plan to be ashes so…unless they put it on a plaque at the beach then they will be short. LOL!


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