It is that time of the year again…the time when many are asking: “Where does the time go?” How did the year get to end its first quarter so quickly?
These questions are usually in close proximity of clichés like: “None of us are getting any younger,” and among others, “youth is wasted on the young.”
It is Easter, you see. And year in and year out it is the same old thing…It all starts on December 31 of the previous year actually – the night on which those dreaded New Year’s resolutions – you know the ones that you stick to for about 5 minutes…are made. Usually it is someone who, in the middle of a drag on a cigarette, says they will be giving up smoking; or someone who takes a huge gulp of alcohol and in their drunken stupor exclaims: “This is the year I am giving up drinking. I mean it.
For good,” as they pour another stiff one. “After tonight, no more drinking for me.
No sir! You are looking at one healthy freak…it’s all about gym and healthy living for me next year.”
To which the fat person to whom they are speaking replies: “Oh me too. I want to lose at least 20 ‘kay-gees’”. Fat people seem to love that contraction for the word kilograms.
This, while the thought bubble in the drunken person’s mind is: “20? Let’s see, that would put you on around 120 ‘kay-gees’…perhaps you should set your sights a little higher, my dear…” But, even in his stupor he is tactful enough not to think it out loud.
Then comes New Year’s Day…also known as international hangover day for those who were intent on having a good – nay a great – time the night before. This day literally falls on some like the proverbial ton of bricks.
Then a week or two into the New Year we start work again, and life seems to just trudge along at a habitual canter with shop windows already filled with back-to-school paraphernalia only to be replaced very hurriedly, and surreptitiously I might add, by Valentine’s Day’s iconic bits and bobs in that nauseating combination of red-and-white. Yech!
Let’s see…post V-Day comes Easter…now to some Easter is the holiday!
The one where we lose the most people on the roads and the one that some feel should be the new Christmas like pink should be the new black and Sunday the new Saturday or something equally banal! This is the holiday that involves the strange Humpty Dumpty-shaped chocolates and where some give new meaning to the phrase death by chocolate! Still, it is in the name of religion that we do this…tut tut! One hardly hears anyone talking about the real reason that the Easter holidays are upon us.
Then we have a little break before the next gifts need to be bought – Mother’s Day and Father’s Day…in May and June respectively. Luckily I no longer have to buy gifts for these days for about 22 and 23 years respectively.
And, as callous and cynical as I might come off, it is quite a saving I must add! What happens after Father’s Day? Are we off until the “big days”?
Not sure actually. I know there are the birthdays and anniversaries and secretary’s day and dustbin day…oh, and not forgetting the many public holidays that are also called by their very own unique names…some of them you’ll need to buy a gift for, and others not. Some you must celebrate by having a braai and others you commemorate by burning your bra or your tyres or something.
I guess what I’m trying to say is…what am I trying to say?
Oh, yes. The more we live life from one Valentine’s Day to another or one Easter to another and one New Year’s Eve to another we may not always see the perfectly beautiful days in between – the ones where nothing special happens and nobody urges you to buy a prosaic Hallmark card or an obligatory (often useless) gift to celebrate or commemorate it…just plain simple beauty that speaks to the wonderful concomitance of man and nature.
After all, man must realise that that is all he is – nature! And nothing Amanda Bradley or Helen Steiner Rice can ever write will match that simple fact of life…