September 28, 2015 - 7:11 AM
Seasonal excitement has gotten out of control.
It happened on a whole new level last year when the pumpkin spiced latte got its own hashtag and started trending, but even before pumpkin spice became the only thing nice, seasonal anticipation was starting to go overboard.
There was the Christmas countdown app that everyone downloaded in June of 2012.
There was the explosion of Cadbury mini eggs that could no longer be sold just at Easter, thanks to popular demand.
There was the creation of the year-round haunted house at all Disney parks world wide.
Let’s not forget the fear-encouragement that still exists surrounding the approach of bikini season starting in January.
Are we so starved in our every day lives for something to look forward to that we insist on creating countdown hoopla for every generic season? Has living in the moment gotten so bad that we need to project ourselves into the seasonal future? Why are we trying so hard to speed up the limited days of our lives?
Recently I was caught too early on a Monday morning moping around the church I work at. It was pre-coffee Monday, but I mustered up the enthusiasm to give a cheery good morning to an elderly gentleman entering the office.
“Is it still morning?” he chimed.
“Unfortunately,” I proclaimed.
He gave me a grunt of disapproval and a grandfatherly piece of advice: “don’t wish your life away,” he said.
If I could tell that to the department at The Hudson’s Bay Company that has set up Santa’s workshop already, I would, but currently I’m too busy trying to remember to do all of those fall things I said I wanted to do back in July.
Things like knitting sweaters while drinking cream of Earl Grey tea, reading Brontë while it rains outside, apple picking in fashionable rain boots and making garlands out of freshly fallen maple leaves — you know, all of those things I looked forward to but would never actually do.
For a generation that has widely started accepting all things mystic, religious and spiritual with skeptical yet open arms it seems the key concepts of mindfulness and living-in-the-moment are being skipped over with the rest of the year. There is a desire to slow down, but no support system for it.
Who has time to concentrate on the moment when we have our Halloween costumes to plan and our Christmas hostess gifts to think about? Forget pumpkin spice lattes — eggnog is up next.
While I’m not cynical enough to think that the world has forgotten how to enjoy themselves in the here and now, it does feel like we are starved for space to do all of those simple, pleasurable things. By encouraging each other to look forward to the next season we are convincing ourselves that for once, we will make time to bake the pies, hand-wrap the presents and enjoy the pumpkin spice latte in a for-here mug.
Unfortunately, all this looking forward is enabling us to make excuses for not doing the things we say we want to.
There’s no escaping the consumer side of seasonal approach, but it does feel like it is time to stop buying into it. As September comes to a close — already faster than it seems possible — let’s not worry about All Hallow’s Eve. Let’s not worry about turkeys, or tur-duck-ens, or whatever you and yours roast on Thanksgiving.
Let’s not worry about what’s upcoming — let’s simply wake up tomorrow morning and go and buy a pumpkin spiced latte. Because I don’t know about you, but I haven’t even made the time to do that yet.
— Andria Parker is an Instagram-obsessed idealist with at least 600 words to share on every topic, ever.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015