Share Your World 9th January 2023

I thought today was Martin Luther King Day because since I retired, I have no idea what day of the week or month it is. Regardless, MLK day is more a “school” than a work holiday. When I first came back from Israel, we used to get all the holidays off including “Bunker Hill Day” (but only if you lived in Boston), Patriot’s Day and Columbus Day — and on those holidays, the stores were closed! Now, each of those days is an official Sale Day.

Over the years, most of these “small” holidays have become “optional,” so you take other personal days when you need one. Columbus Day is gone. America’s admiration of Columbus has shrunk as his actual history has become better known and acknowledged.

Maybe that’s why other holidays that were “holidays for children” are suddenly bigger and more inclusive. Halloween was not nearly as big a deal when I was growing up as it has become. The whole “decorating for Halloween” thing? Aside from a jack o’lantern with a candle and maybe a bunch of Indian corn tied to your door, there wasn’t any. Now, the outdoor decorations for Halloween are more elaborate than for Christmas, though significantly less electrically-based.

I think there are a lot of reasons why this has happened. First, people need many more “personal days” at work than they typically get. Doctors appointments are impossible to schedule on weekends. Lunchtime, assuming you get a real lunch hour as opposed to grabbing something and eating at your desk, is never enough time to get there, be seen, and get back to work.

Christmas, although everyone enjoys the holiday, is a religious holiday. While non-Christians are happy to enjoy it, serious exterior decorations are perhaps a step too far. Anyway, the price of electricity has gone up so much, many people are loathe to turn on that many lights. The people who do huge outdoor lighting displays are usually subsidized by donations and often by discounted rates from the electric company.

Isn’t it ironic that despite the ever-increasing celebrations for Halloween it’s the one holiday for which no one gets time off from work or school?

Finally, the Friday after Thanksgiving (which for non-Americans, is always on a Thursday) used to not be a holiday. Most people took the day anyway, deducting it from their holiday time. Now, it has become standard for almost everyone. Is it a way to goose up a flagging economy? We may not support parental or maternity leave, but we support shopping with energy and enthusiasm.

I’m not entirely sure what this says about us, but it’s nothing to brag about.

Here are this week’s questions:

How long did it take you to get back into your normal routine after the holidays?

I don’t think our “normal routine” was much affected by the holidays. The only time holidays affect our normal life is when we have been away from home for more than a day or two.

Which makes you feel more relaxed, putting your feet up in front of the fire with a good book or socialising with your friends?

We don’t have a working fireplace. I don’t read “hard copy” books anymore. And it depends on which friends, when and where.

I read constantly. If I’m not taking pictures, processing pictures, or writing or cooking, I’m probably reading — or sleeping. Life is less about fitting reading into my day than fitting my day into reading.

What is your favourite hot drink?

Coffee. Good coffee, if you please.

Once upon a time, I might have chosen cocoa or hot chocolate, but these days, I find both too sweet. I yearn for it, but when I make it, it’s a disappointment. Was it better when I made it from scratch — or has my taste changed that much? Maybe both?

My affection for chocolate has taken a huge dip, probably because it is the ubiquitous flavoring for most “energy” drinks and bars. And it isn’t good chocolate, either. It tastes more like chocolate-flavored chalk than real chocolate.

If you are feeling poorly, do you prefer to be pampered, or left alone?

Both, depending on how sick I am. If I’m very sick, I usually need help. And this is usually when I’m just back from the hospital. For most things, I want to be left alone to sleep while someone else does the cooking.

Gratitude, also known as “Being Nice”

I’m trying to make sure I smile and say thank you to all the people who serve me from grocery clerks to the harried people who answer phones and try to make appointments.

I’m also trying not to not complain to people unless they can fix the problem. Too often we let our frustrations out to whoever is there, even though he or she isn’t the cause of the problem and has no power to fix it. What’s the point in badgering them when they have as little power as we do to make it better?

Categories: #Photography, #SYW, Holidays, Light and Lights, Share My World

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18 replies

  1. Just for the record Martin Luther King Day is January 16th, always held the 3rd Monday of January

    Liked by 1 person

    • I beg your pardon. You are absolutely correct. The problem was NOT the calendar. The problem was me not knowing what week I should be looking at. My medical team says I’m sharp as a proverbial tack, but you couldn’t prove it by me. Since I stopped working, I rarely know what day it is — or even what day of the week it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn, you’re not alone about recollection of the day. Retirement dulls our senses.
        You’ll note I frequently check my watch. That’s a holdover from my working years and the ever present deadlines.

        I agree with you about hot cocoa and its sweetness. That’s a change from childhood days.
        I loved those malteds Owen concocted for us but, after the first week, the sweetness thing began to set in. Doesn’t mean we can’t do a malted every now and then.


      • The joys of retiring and permanently being on vacation- not knowing what day it is! Honestly with all the changes in Federal holidays, remember when Lincoln’s birthday and George’s were celebrated on separate days? It wasn’t “President’s Day” ? And growing up Martin Luther King was not on the calendar yet!


        • Yes, I remember when it arrived. It is still not celebrated nationally and I don’t think it’s considered a national holiday. There are fewer national holidays, too. I remember Lincoln’s BD as a separate holiday too. We lost a presidential day, but gained “black Friday.” I’m not sure it was a good trade, but it’s nice to have a four day weekend and we don’t HAVE to shop.


  2. Lovely post and pictures Marilyn. Thanks for joining in this week. Our days are pretty much the same too, bank holiday or not and this year our dekkies went up Christmas Eve and came down on the 31st. Many properties had lights, reindeer and such in their gardens and they all looked beautiful. However, I agree that some can go too far and rather than look pleasant, border on garish.
    Have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have far fewer days off here in Pakistan. The government thinks that we would be more productive if we don’t get holidays!!!


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