Monday, August 19, 2013

Slow Down You're Moving To Fast

Seems like every year the media and retailers roll out Christmas earlier than the year before. This year right around 4th of July, the Hallmark channel had an entire weekend of Christmas movies. It feels like the older I get the faster time goes by and I think I have figured out why. When I was younger I looked forward to each holiday and season. But any more, the media and retailers are months ahead. By the time the actual holiday or season arrives I am ready to get it over with and move on to the next.

I was with my daughter and one of my granddaughters last month and we stopped at a store to pick up some craft supplies. It was July and they had their Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving displays all set up in the front of the store.  The first thing I thought of was that in a few months those days would be upon us. Then I snapped out of it and reminded myself that it was just the first full month of summer. No wonder time seems to fly by.  Christmas movies and Thanksgivings decorations in July, I guess I should be looking for the Spring vacation commercials to begin in September.

The stores already have summer clothes on sale and the new Fall clothing out on the hangers. There is no more living in the moment. It’s always what’s next.  I remember that on New Year’s Eve we would look forwards to the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. Then the next week we would return to school. Around the 1st of March I would realize my birthday would be coming up and would make plans. A few weeks later Easter Vacation rolled around. We never called it “spring break”, it was always Easter week. I would make plans with my friends to spend the week at the beach as much as possible. But Easter day was always a family holiday with a ham and all the side dishes. Sometime in the middle of May we would talk about plans for Memorial Weekend. The first two weeks of June seemed to be the longest. They were the last days of the school year. Those two weeks alone felt like a year. Lots of studying and tests then summer finally arrived.

Summers appeared endless. Sleep overs at friend’s houses, weekend trips to Colorado River water skiing, and days at the beach surfing and sunbathing. There was always a 4th of July BBQ somewhere and a parade, long lazy days lying out at the pool listening to music and then one last long Labor Day weekend at the beach.  A day or so before school started my mom would take us to the store and we would buy a few new outfits to begin the new school year off with. There were no big back to school sales or school supplies to buy. If we needed a new notebook we would get one, but most of the time it was a package of 3 ringed paper to put in the same notebook we used last year.

We always had a 3 day weekend in October for Columbus Day and the last week of October we would take notice of what day Halloween fell on and either plan to go to Knott’s Berry Farm or to a party at a friend’s house. In November we would have a 3 day weekend for Veteran’s Day. Thanksgiving never entered our minds until the weekend before when we would go shopping with our mom and she would buy a turkey. We would spend Thanksgiving with all our family, eat until we were full, watch some football, then eat some more.

 I don’t remember Christmas commercials on TV until the end of the first week in December. Christmas lights would begin to go up on house and decoration in yards about two weeks before Christmas. That is about the time Christmas trees would start to appear as well. Two week for Christmas shopping was more than enough time. 

We had two weeks off of school for Christmas. With any luck there would be some snow in the mountains and we could spend our time skiing. The stores were crowed but people were not rude or pushy. There were a lot of sales, nonetheless stores were well stocked and there were no Black Friday’s or “door busters” that caused riots. The day after Christmas, the tree came down and life returned to normal until New Year’s Eve when I would get together with a bunch of friends and go sit out on a cold curb all night in Pasadena drinking hot chocolate waiting for the Rose Parade to begin.  And the year had come full circle.

Looking back it is as if we lived a lifetime in each year. Instead of the way it feels now, that we are living a year in a month’s time. Now days it seems as if everything is done at warped speed. It is as if we go thought twelve months is a few weeks. We never seem to live in the present or enjoy the moment. We have become media and retail driven. So the next time you wonder why things seem to be moving so fast take a step back and cease the day.     

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