It seems like Halloween was just last week yet Thanksgiving has already come and gone and we’re on to Christmas already. (I guess I measure time in holidays.) Although life is moving so quickly and everyone seems to be doing more, I think so much is being missed. We’re caught up in the check list of tasks, aiming to complete and in the process we miss the wonder in the doing. Yesterday was a great example of that.
My sister is an achiever. She does many great things and no one would ever describe her as anything less than very successful as far as the masses of society define success. She hosts Thanksgiving every year and prepares a delicious meal that gets eaten on schedule and gets cleaned up immediately afterward all within one hour. By the time I arrived the appetizers were out and a flurry of activity was happening at the stove. The turkey was sitting, instant potatoes being stirred and rolls being heated. There was a meal to set down and it was scheduled for service at 3:00pm. At 2:55 platters were placed and people were ushered into their seats. My mother was downstairs in her apartment at 3:00 wrapping up some appetizers and washing a dish or two, but she knew when dinner was to be so absent or not we began passing the food around. I suggested we wait and make sure she knows we’re eating but then it might be 3:03 before we eat and that wouldn’t do. By the time she returned plates were full and on her arrival we were ready for a toast of a quick “Happy Thanksgiving” and then we ate and then dishes were cleared and then dessert served just as the schedule noted. Even the arrival of more guests was lovely but timed. The clock was ticking and the obligatory time spent. It was efficient and effective but far from memorable. The company was nice and food was great but the urgency to check it off was constantly in the air. There was no lingering over the meal, no slow and thoughtful discussion but rather sharing the facts, the basic and eating. There was no savoring of the time and place, no sipping in the moments with family and friends. Thanksgiving was checked of the list and now on to the next item.
This is what society has become. A fast paced, goal oriented life where the journey is irrelevant thus. Rarely do we realize the it is the journey that makes the goal what it is and without the knowledge of the journey, the destination becomes meaningless. Looking back do we remember the simple timely meal or the year of cheesy stuffing? Do you remember your high school graduation or that springtime dance and amazing football game? And as our days near end do we remember the promotion or the people and years building up to it? Which would we rather have back?