Have you ever noticed there’s a quirky holiday for just about everything under the sun? My family once tried to think of something outlandish that didn’t already have a commemorative day assigned to it, and we couldn’t do it. Every implausible idea we googled was already a thing!
National Make a Hat Day. Dogs in Politics Day. International Talk Like a Pirate Day. National Crush a Can Day. Those are all real calendar events. In fact, they are all in September, as is one of our family’s favorites, National Crème-Filled Donut Day. (That one’s today!)
Once a year is about as often as my husband and I can tolerate crème-filled donuts any more, but there was a time in our lives when those calorie-dense confections were standard fare.
Back in college, we both joined a gym and worked out together two or three times a week. And by workout, I mean we spent about fifteen minutes lifting weights, five jogging on the treadmill, and the rest of our time sitting in the hot tub.
Then we’d change into dry clothes and drive across the street to Dunkin Donuts (conveniently located on the corner opposite the gym) where we’d split an even dozen — six for him and six for me. Chocolate éclairs, Boston crèmes, donuts filled with raspberry jelly or lemon curd and rolled in powdered sugar. Yum!
Not exactly a grueling workout, I know, but I still managed to lose 30 pounds on that plan (all the weight the dorm cafeteria had packed on during my short-and-studious-but-sedentary stay on campus). Moreover, after just one month of minimal weightlifting, my muscles felt as hard as rocks. Such is the metabolism of a twenty-something.
Fast forward thirty years, and now I can barely think of a crème-filled donut without gaining weight. If I knew then what I know now, I would have skipped the donuts for an all-fruit smoothie or maybe even a plate of raw veggies and hummus. Double-yum!
Why is it that we have such a hard time fully appreciating things (like toned muscles and high metabolisms) until they’re gone?
What we lack is perspective.
- If the toddler-mom could see through the eyes of an empty nester, perhaps she’d be less inclined to complain about childhood messes and sleepless nights.
- If the young wife could see through the eyes of a lonely widow, maybe her husband’s dirty socks on the floor would be less of an irritation.
- If the family in a starter home could see through the eyes of people who just lost everything to a hurricane, maybe they’d be more appreciative of their small closets and single bath.
- If the average American could spend a single week in a war-torn country under a truly oppressive regime — and live to tell about it! — perhaps we’d better understand just how blessed we are to live in the USA, even if our President is a little freehanded with his Twitter account.
Perspective is a marvelous thing.
If only we could view life through the lens of age and experience, I think we’d all do a lot less complaining and a lot more celebrating.
Who knows? We might even come up with a few new holidays that haven’t been thought of before. How about International Colic Doesn’t Last Forever Day? Or Dirty Sock Appreciation Day? Or Stand in Line for the Bathroom Day? Or even National Tweet Something Sweet Day.