“Time goes faster and faster every day. Makes me think of the toilet paper wisdom you had hanging in your bathroom.” That was Diem chatting with Michael just as the calendar was settling into November. The “wisdom” in question is on a small plaque in his bathroom that reads, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper! The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.”
We’re well into what we call the annual Winter Holiday Stress Zone that begins at Halloween and ends the day after New Years Day. The extra pressure put on most Americans these last two months of the year make them seem to go by more like two weeks, sometimes two days.
See if this sounds familiar:
November 1 – Take down Halloween decorations, install inflatable turkey and pilgrims on front lawn.
November 7 – Send invitations for holiday open house on second Sunday after Thanksgiving.
November 14 – Assemble Black Friday wish list, add items to online shopping carts hoping for emails announcing early discounts.
November 21 – Begin prepping sides and set table for Thanksgiving dinner.
November 22 – Search Internet for “How long to thaw turkey.”
November 23 – Thanksgiving
November 24 – Black Friday doorbuster sales (morning)
November 24 – Start end of year/next year’s goals report for work due December 1 (evening).
November 25 – Take down Thanksgiving decorations, put up Christmas decorations outside.
November 26 – Put up Christmas decorations inside (morning/afternoon).
November 26 – Assemble Cyber Monday wish list, check sites for early sales (evening).
November 27 – Cyber Monday shopping/Return to work after 4 day weekend to find email inbox full.
November 28 – Remember Giving Tuesday at last minute, send donation to first charity found online.
November 29 – Review RSVPs and make list of food and supplies needed for holiday open house this Sunday (December 3)
November 30 – Ask boss for extension on end of year/next year’s goals report, write note to self to call off Friday to buy food and supplies for open house.
And that’s just November! December will be busier still.
We don’t suggest that you “Skip Christmas,” or whichever of the other 9 religious and secular holidays that you may be celebrating this December as a popular novella once posited. We do suggest that when you are making your list of things to do, you keep in mind the holidays you and your family will be celebrating and add some entries that include your loved ones.
You cannot stop time, and the end of the year is when time seems to be in its most short supply. Too often, people take short cuts as the new year approaches and in the process end up shortchanging those with whom the winter holidays are best spent. Don’t make these last two months of this year your Winter Holiday Stress Zone. There is still time to connect with the people you love and time to spend time and energy with them. Remember, the time you have with them is like a roll of toilet paper. It goes fast and you never seem to have enough when you really want it!