It wasn’t long after school was back in session that I began to notice a shade of orange everywhere I went. Pumpkin spice everything seemed to have taken over.
It was odd, I thought, that I was still wearing flip-flops and shorts yet there were signs of fall every time I went into a store. Then the spooky things began to appear, which told me that Halloween was just around the corner.
It was barely Labor day.
Before I could get costumes and candy for the kids, I began to see displays of Christmas items. There were lights strung up, Christmas-y wrapping paper began to appear in the center of aisles, and Santas of all sizes were suddenly in my line of vision. Even the grocery stores began to display all the food items that we normally associate with Christmas. There were tins of cookies, candy canes, and fruitcakes every time I turned around!
Like everyone else, I shopped nearly every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, trying to make sure my children had everything they “needed” for Christmas morning. (Yes, I meant to put the quotes around the word ‘need.’ I mean, who needs a second pair of Uggs?)
I wrapped each night after they went to sleep, planned my Christmas dinner, and tried to think of new places to hide the presents I’d purchased but hadn’t managed to wrap yet.
Then it was all over.
But before the last present was unwrapped, I noticed that all the stores I shop at suddenly had a lot of red and pink in them.
Could it be?….
But of course. We are already preparing for the next holiday! We are doing this with such speed that we aren’t even able to enjoy the holiday we are currently celebrating!
Honestly, I find it a bit frustrating. It seems that we are now becoming a society with a huge case of ADHD. We can no longer sit and relax or have even just one day where we have nothing to do, no plans, no place to go. And if we are one of the lucky ones who find ourselves with such a day, we tend to feel guilty and a bit out of sorts because there is that nagging feeling that “surely, I should be doing SOMETHING.”
This concept of enjoying the moment seems to be a lost art. I see this same trend with my kids and their friends. They are so engrossed in taking a selfie that they forget to enjoy the event they are actually supposed to be attending! Instead of simply enjoying a delicious Starbuck’s Frappuccino or delectable coffee drink, we snap a picture of it so we can post it to Instagram for our friends to see. Honestly, every time I see a picture of someone’s dinner plate, I want to reach through the phone and choke them. Does anyone really care what you had for dinner?
Just eat it, for God’s sake!
We’ve lost the ability to simply enjoy the moment we find ourselves in and instead focus on ensuring others know what we are doing, eating, drinking and who we are with at every moment of our lives.
So for this new year, I vow to be in the moment. I vow to enjoy what is right in front of me instead of taking a picture of it and then tracking the number of “likes” I get. Because all that really matters is that I like what I’m doing at the moment and that I’m enjoying it with people I care about.
I mean, do you really care that I just had a granola bar?
Donna Small is the author of women’s fiction novels. Her latest book “Through Rose Colored Glasses,” will be released shortly from Indigo Sea Press. When not writing, she can be found at her home preparing for the Zombie apocalypse with her two daughters and her dogs, Charlie and Finley. She is currently at work on her next novel.