Don’t Shop Til You Drop
August 22, 2011 § 7 Comments
“Slow down, you move too fast
You gotta make the morning last
Just kickin’ down the cobblestones
Lookin’ for fun and
Feelin’ groovy …”
That verse certainly won’t be found in any jingles from major retailers stocking and promoting Christmas gifts in August.
They are words, admittedly, from the much simpler times of 1966 when Simon and Garfunkel recorded the 59TH Bridge Street (Feelin’ Groovy) song on their Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme album.
Thinking of the rush toward Christmas that’s already begun and taking it easy on this Sunday four months ahead of The Big Day had me musing over the word thyme and its homophone (words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings) partner time.
It seems no matter how much people vow each year to slow down and spend less on gift giving, many still get caught up in the Christmas shopping vortex earlier and earlier and spend more and more money.
No wonder kids are hardly done opening the newest version of electronic gaming gadgetry they received at Christmas (which was of no surprise since they’d lobbied for months) than they are clamouring for the latest and greatest of something else.
Are we really surprised when much of the mound of nicely wrapped presents on Dec. 25 becomes clutter within days?
A rant about excesses at Christmas is an old one that needs no further comment other than the increasing craze over one day of the year is symptomatic of the rest of life for those who let it.
Many of us seem to try to pack one more thing in our lives yet always think fondly of the simpler times, like the quick vacation or the spontaneous dinner out.
Who relishes the maxed-out credit card bill in January?
It blows my mind when I’m channel surfing and I see shows like Say Yes to the Dress and the wearing apparel being considered costs more than my entire wedding. Of course, I’ve been married 25 years now and I wonder how many of the couples on the show will still be wed a quarter century later.
It all seems to start out with graduation in kindergarten and by the end of elementary school, the expectation of an elaborate celebration has gone crazy. Getting only about half way through basic education warrants a gala bash with participants driven in a limo?
It’s no wonder kids want to be teenagers all too quickly, rush off to post-secondary education, often before they are ready, and can’t wait to become of age.
By 30, many people have sped through the first third of their lives without taking the chance to smell the roses … and by then, they are stuck in a routine.
Am I being a grumpy old man about this? I don’t think so. I like a party just as much as anyone and as age 51 is calling my name, I am still at a point where I think of all the things there are left to accomplish.
It just seems we build up expectations for big moments earlier and earlier in our lives and those of younger generations so nothing is really THAT special anymore.
As I was writing this blog, I saw this quote on a friend’s twitter post: “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” ~ Ancient Chinese Proverb.
Do these wise words and my commentary provide conflicting viewpoints? Absolutely not! There is a difference between enjoying and thriving on a fast pace and having your life spinning out of control so we lose sight of what’s important.
We really can pack one less meeting or email into a day. We can call an old friend out of the blue or take an impromptu Sunday drive. We don’t NEED to shop until we drop.