I was speaking to a friend the other morning who was recounting how the events of the upcoming months mount an attack on her sanity and time. It was only October and anticipatory depression had set in.
We are all familiar with the brutality of December. ‘Nature doesn’t like a vacum’ at its finest. Exponentially more events, activities, expectations and deliverables than normal which seems to beget even MORE. People are stressed to the point where I personally dread stopping at a store for even the most required of purchases. The lines are long, the tension is high, patience gone, building strain palpable.
That’s where the food comes into play for me. Food really does navigate us through this treacherous time providing a soulful embrace and focal point worth celebrating. Each holiday is laced with special foods either seasonal or tied to family tradition.
Instead of feeling the chore of the preparation could there not be reveling in the acts of procuring, preparing and sharing those foods that we only have at this time of year? Could our local and seasonal spoils not be the heartbeat instead of the angst forcing so many to secretly want to fast forward to February and bypass these coming months all together?
I’ve always maintained a view of time as a one way train. I try to live each day for what it brings, as I will not have a chance to live this specific day again. I think it is good to have these conversations about how much is coming our way, to take a step back and remember we can strive to find joy, however simple, in what we are living, rather than wishing away the privilege of a given day.
I too feel the demands of what is seasonally expected of me and did feel accosted by 12 fully decked Christmas trees I passed on an escalator in a large urban department store on October 11. Despite this I felt a moment of pause when listening to my friend’s trials with the quiet reminder ‘you can’t forget the joy’. It’s a choice.