Changing seasons always feel a little nostalgic to me. Summer is on its way into fall and the beaches, the sand, the picnics, and outdoor fun are ending in what seems like a minute. Fall makes its appearance in shades of orange, yellow, and brown. It nudges summer out of the way with smells of burning leaves, fire pits and crisp air.
You know this change is coming, but it still always feels like it’s overnight. It’s like life; you can look forward to an event, like a wedding, and it’s so far away…and then it’s over! It’s also like a stage in life; you wait and wait for your child to walk and then it’s happened and it’s like they’ve walked forever! You wait for your graduation and then Boom! You’re working and into the next phase of life.
These seasonal changes are affecting me differently as I age. The seasons are coming faster and the next one is right around the corner. I am trying to think of what’s most important to me that I want to accomplish. I’m putting more thought into what will make me happy. I’m trying to be more conscious of my time and do what I value the most. Throughout our lives, there are so many things that we must do that is seems that we rarely get to make a conscious decision of what we want to do.
Now and then it’s a good idea to sit down and look at what we’re doing and where we want to go and who we want to be. How do we get there? What priorities should we have in place and what do we have to do to make those things happen?
As we wind down from summer into fall, and then winter, I think it’s a great time to take stock of where we are and where we want to be for a while. Do what you have to, sure, but try to also do what’s important to you and what makes you happy!
Once again, it’s time to change our clock.
Tonight, or technically tomorrow at 2:00 a.m., we need to change our clocks back by one hour, thereby ending Daylight Saving Time. For those of us in the United States, this means everybody except Hawaii and Arizona. Confusing? Yep, and so is the rest of the story.
Did you know that this tradition actually started way back with Benjamin Franklin in order to conserve energy? Apparently he was way ahead of his time in his thinking that the extra hour of daylight would require less energy on lighting. It wasn’t until a century later, however, that Daylight Saving Time actually went into effect in 1916 when Germany established it as a way to conserve fuel during WWI. Europe followed shortly thereafter and the United States jumped on in 1918. It’s actually a myth that it was initiated to help farmers out by having more daylight hours.
There’s actually quite a bit more history behind the story of how this came to be and how it’s still managed. I found a really interesting article that describes how it was started, ended, and started again. Then it created a lot of chaos by leaving the decision up to the individual states and towns to manage. Nowadays, less than 40% of countries around the world observe Daylight Saving Time. If you have a few minutes, it’s a fun read.
Daylight Saving Time 2017: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How
There are some fun facts here, as well, like how it affects us, our health, and our pets. I think most of us agree that we can definitely feel the impact twice a year when this rolls around. So tomorrow morning, you can enjoy that extra hour of sleep, but be warned: your pet might not get the memo and expect to get up and eat at the same time as usual.
So, it’s Christmas and time for gift giving once again. That’s great when you have the money to get the kids just what they want. It’s a good feeling when you can get that nice co-worker a little something or give an extra couple of dollars to the woman who does your hair. What do you do, though, if you simply don’t have the funds to do these things but want to show somebody a little love? Do you need to look like Scrooge? Nope. There are lots of ways around this problem.
When the kids that you want to buy for are little (your own or others), there’s the knock-off route. You may not be able to afford the name brand that’s the hottest thing out there, but you may be able to afford that very similar item at a much lower cost. Beware, though, that there is an age when they know the difference and you might as well gift them underwear as a substitute for what they really want. Before that time, you are free and clear. If you’re past that window of opportunity, I would veer off in another direction entirely. You don’t want to look like you tried to get what they wanted but failed. Find something completely different so it’s not a comparison. Think about what they like, their hobbies and their interests. Think about things that you find interesting that you might want to share with them. Who knows, they could find a new and interesting hobby. Everybody is good at something and you’re giving the gift of your time and expertise.
Sometimes, you aren’t able to afford anything close to what you want to buy for somebody. It’s okay. It truly IS the thought that counts, not the gift itself. If you can afford your time, your caring thoughts, your prayers, or your love, THAT is a gift worth giving. You can wrap it up however you like. You can write a poem, find something in a magazine or book that expresses how you feel or that you find interesting and frame it for a dollar or reuse a frame that you already have. You can write up a gift certificate for a hand car wash or a homemade meal for a parent or a night of babysitting for a favorite friend or relative. How about a trip to a museum or even the library; bring lunch and have a picnic at a park! Think about the things that make them happy, think about the things that you can do and put them together. How about a neighbor who has trouble getting around? Why not offer a ride to the grocery store or a monthly trip somewhere they may have trouble getting to. Manual labor is a pretty darn good gift and one that is much appreciated. It means that you’re truly giving of yourself and it’s a wonderful low-cost, high-reward gift. The real value of this gift is the time and thoughtfulness that you put into it. No doll, pajamas, scarf, or tie can touch that!
Have fun, be creative and, most of all, be sincere and your gift will truly be treasured.
Have a very happy holiday!