General Question

marinelife's avatar

Do you ever feel slightly behind the time stream?

Asked by marinelife (61931points) July 10th, 2009

I seem to move too slowly for life. Here I am ready to savor summer only it is already July.

I had plans for swims, picnics, outdoor events, but I have only been able to fit in a fraction of them.

By the time I am emotionally set for Christmas, it will be ready to be over. I can’t go there in October.

Should I worry about this? If I should, how would I change it?

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26 Answers

Saturated_Brain's avatar

That happens to me too. I’ve had five weeks of holiday. I only started getting in the mood in the fourth week. Kinda worrisome..

But from what you’ve described… Hmm… Why weren’t you able to fit them in? It looks like you were in the time stream, just that some unseen rocks damaged your boat, making you spend waay too much time repairing it.

kevbo's avatar

I have on my list soemthing along the lines of “being prepared for seasonal events” ( emotionally, mentally, materially, etc.) So, I do share your sentiment.

My sister is a lot better at this. She’s more spontaneous and slapdash about the whole thing usually and has the benefit of her husband to delegate preparations.

I’m big on making lists and letting them collect dust, but one thing I tried recently was sort of categorizing them based on mundane things like “organizing” and life-affirming things like “socializing.” They were WAY out of balance in terms of length and attention paid, which was eye opening.

Props to sb above for remembering @Marina‘s crazy mad circumstances. Quite kind.

CMaz's avatar

It is all about you getting older.

I believe (want to believe) as we get older we tend to savor the moment a bit too much.
When we were younger we would be out the door before the car stopped.

Dog's avatar

@Marina the answer is to start Christmas now. ;)

Jeruba's avatar

Physics note: here is relativity at its purest. As you age, the rotation and revolution of the planet actually accelerate. When you were a child, your next birthday might have been an eternity away. Now it is the day after tomorrow.

I’ve always thought this phenomenon had to do with proportions. When you were 5, annual events were separated by 20% of your life. When you’re 50, the difference is only 2%.

There is nothing to be done about this effect. Unlike software development, you can’t simply announce a schedule slip: “Christmas will release in February next year.” I have had friends who set their own schedules, though, sending out Christmas cards as late as June and remembering my July birthday in time to say “happy new year.” They always make me smile. I say do what you can when you can, and the hell with it. Nothing at all to worry about.

If you feel that you are missing out on things, though, that’s different. Here are a few strategies that come to mind:

— Think of a friend who is always on top of things and make a date for some future seasonal event with him or her, and then let the friend do the planning: “Daniel, let’s make a foliage tour in October, shall we? Margaret, would you like to go to the mountains for a few days next spring?” You get a free ride in exchange for your excellent company.

— Choose two or three representative events—one picnic, one trip to the beach, one hike—and let them stand for all the others you didn’t quite get to do. Your memories of past outings can help fill in the gaps.

— Do what you can with what you have left of the season. Don’t write it off because you didn’t do more.

— Don’t be bound by convention. There is really no reason why you can’t have a picnic in the fall. A walk on the beach in January can actually be very lovely.

— Give a little thought to what each season or occasion really means to you: for example, is fall about color? sports? school? holidays? Do something that helps put you in the mood, whether it’s to watch a certain film, look at magazines, make a particular visit or purchase, or just talk about it, so you can turn your mind that way while the season is still young.

— When all else fails, go for vicarious experience.

marinelife's avatar

Wow, I am thrilled to find out I am not alone in this. Thanks all!

@Dog I am game, but am not sure how you mean I should start Christmas now? I want to really experience Christmas this year (even though I can find it depressing), because I will actually have winter, which living in Florida showed me was a necessary ingredient to get in the spirit for me.

@Jeruba Leaves. I am all about autumn leaves. Can’t wait. I still start with delight to walk out my door and see nary a palm tree in sight!

I am going for a swim tonight (even though the cool summer means a shiver while adjusting to the water). Anyone coming?

kevbo's avatar

Also, you might appreciate this book.

Jeruba's avatar

So, @Marina, here’s what you do: early in September go to a crafts store like Michael’s and buy a basket and several bunches of fall-colored silk flowers and leaves. Arrange the flowers in the basket, put some in a vase, drape a garland of leaves along the mantel or the piano. Put a seasonal-colored tablecloth on your dining table with a fall-themed centerpiece. Buy candles. Snip a gorgeous autumn-colored landscape from an old calendar and post it where you can see it. Get out a favorite scarf and start wearing it around. All the environmental cues will help put you in the mood.

Do the same for Christmas. Seeing Christmas junk in stores as early as July (and it’s going to be bad this year, count on it) can make you jaded in the first ten minutes, but ignore the ugly parts and just take in what feels nice. Do the same thing: go to Michael’s. Craft stores have to run a season ahead because people are preparing for the next one. A nice bunch of silk flowers for winter—start there.

If you work by a date calendar, go now and write target dates for yourself on the calendar: buy cards by November 25th, start writing them by December 1st, etc.

And make sure you have some Christmas CDs. Start playing them in your car the day after Thanksgiving. You can order them from Amazon right now.

SirBailey's avatar

Maybe THIS will help?

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/dap_10153_12605_DAP_Christmas+Lane?adCell=W3

(WARNING: It may shock you. I know it did ME!)

Dog's avatar

@SirBailey Too funny!

@Marina As a licensing artist summer is when I paint my holiday work for the next year. Right now in my studio I have pine fragrance oil and a small tree with lights on it. My Christmas songs on my iTunes and though it is not cold I get a feel for it. :) My goal this year is to buy most of the gifts ahead of the rush and store them at my parent’s house.
There are some FANTASTIC bargains right now!

I usually decorate for Halloween (we are rather macabre with full-size medical qualtiy skeletons dressed as pirates and such) in September. Then when we take down the Halloween we usually put up the Christmas the same day.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I think that happens to everyone in some way or another.

marinelife's avatar

@Jeruba Thanks, I am with you conceptually, but I don’t do silk, Usually, it’s real leaves, tiny pumpkins, gourds and dried tiny corn. I like the idea of calendarizing it.

@kevbo That looks like an interesting book. Can you synopsize what you got from it?

@SirBailey Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It’s freakin’ July. At least Dog has an excuse!

@Dog Thanks.

skfinkel's avatar

I so know what you mean. And, on the other hand, it’s only the beginning of July! Lots of glorious days left—just in July—to take a swim, have a picnic, attend an outdoor event or two, and then there will still be August. And yet, I know what you mean.

Darwin's avatar

I just figured that if I was behind the time stream, the fact that retail establishments are 6 months ahead makes it all balance out in an existential kind of way.

Besides, if you leave the Christmas tree up all year you don’t have to find a place to store it. Just put little American flags on it in July and little pumpkins in October and you are good to go.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m nearly always out of sync with the calendar. I make greeting cards and gifts all year long, so I’m always working on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, and every other greeting card day. I mix them up so I don’t get too bored.

marinelife's avatar

@Darwin That idea gave me a laugh out loud moment. Thanks!

Jeruba's avatar

@Darwin, I always think that’s is what we get for sending all those cards that say “May you keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart all through the year.”

One year I didn’t get around to taking the Hallowe’en pumpkin off the porch before December, or the feathered black plastic raven either. So I stuck a red and green bow on the pumpkin and hung up a tiny red stocking for the raven with a candy cane in it.

I guess they embarrassed my son because after that he ditched the pumpkin, and the raven disappeared.

I consider it my duty to embarrass my children now and then, just to keep things even.

marinelife's avatar

@Jeruba Absolutely! That’s in the Mom handbook, is it not? Personally, I love the image of the raven with his stocking. I think you should consider adding one every year to your tree.

Jeruba's avatar

Page 2.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I pretty much only celebrate Halloween with any seriousness. I think about it year round. I already have my yard display planned, (set up begins in September) and I am working on the second CD for the background ambience of that one night of spooks and goblins.

The other holidays, eh, not so much. Thanksgiving is covered because I only have to use three recipes that are set in stone to make the meal memorable. Giftmas is not a problem, since I give gifts year round, and Evelyn thinks a gift holiday in the dead of Winter is just crazy. I like the way that lady thinks.

augustlan's avatar

@Marina Oh, I am so with you! Come over in February, and we’ll sing carols and drink hot buttered rum. ;)

Darwin's avatar

We have our Christmas party in July, so we can barbecue.

But then we live in Texas.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Marina my whole life has been like that. I have achieved things at forty that other people achieved at twenty and thirty. I’m not sure why I am behind in the time stream, but I often feel like I’ve misplaced at least one decade somewhere. I guess time really does fly when you are having fun.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

On a slightly different angle, I feel like Rip van Winkle with computer technology. Studied a bit of it in college 35+ years ago, then had no reason or need to use the knowledge. Only in the last few years has my ignorance become glaringly obvious.

Darwin's avatar

I generally send my Christmas cards in July. That way they don’t get lost in the shuffle of other cards. At least, that’s my excuse.

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