I thought I had a rant, but in reading, it’s not really a rant, just some musings about the holidays.
One of the things that has been great about being on a team of international athletes has been the different perspective that they all have on whatever. By whatever, I mean just that…food, TV, music, politics (which I don’t do), training, racing…you name it. For instance I remember Scott asking “what’s the weather going to be like for that race?” James quickly quipped back “That’s such and AMERICAN question.” He had a point, it doesn’t really matter what the weather is going to be…you are signed up to do the race along with 1500 other of your closest friends, so you race.
Or even something as ‘simple’ as swim workouts. We (Amy and I ) are used to always swimming on the right hand side of the lane (counterclockwise) with 2-3 others in a lane…with lane ropes. Our perspective on that changed when we went to camp in that not only were we swimming with 2-3 others, we also swam without lane ropes. To top it all off, depending on the day we sometimes swam on the left side of the lane (clockwise). It kind of depended on who got in first…if it was Stephen, he almost always swam on the left since the English drive on the left. That person, the first person to dive in, generally determined the direction of their lane as well as the entire pool. Try that in a US master’s program, and if you don’t have a revolt, you will at least have several head-on collisions. Amy generally tried to find the lane that was swimming ‘right’.
That’s a long introduction to my musings of whether holiday ‘idiocy’, I will call it, is an Austin phenomenon, a Texas phenomenon, a US phenomenon, or if the entire world suffers from it? It just seems like this time of year when people are shopping for holiday gifts to wrap…Christmas or Hanukkah…they are also removing their brains and wrapping them up with the presents!
It all started October 30, because that is honestly when I first saw Christmas decorations in a department store. Used to be that the tree and decorations didn’t go up until after Thanksgiving. Seems like in a few years, the decoration will go up shortly after Labor Day here in the US…early September. For the 2nd year in a row, I have not put lights up outside, but Amy has done a great job with the inside. This year I blame it on having the house painted, windows replaced, and trees trimmed. At least next year, the house will look good, and you will be able to see the lights because the trees will have been trimmed.
I have sat through at least 2 green lights while waiting on the person a couple of cars in front of me to put down their phone or stop texting. Yesterday, I watched as a pedestrian was almost hit because he was too busy looking at his phone to notice that not only did he NOT have a walk sign, but he was directly in the middle of a turn lane while cars were stopped in the middle of the intersection waiting on him. That’s really not a whole lot different than other times of the year, it just seems more common at this time of the year.
After living in big cities now for about 1/2 of my life, the traffic still amazes me and baffles me at the same time. This time of year it is even worse. “Rush Hour” is more like a “5 Hour Rush Hour”. Amy and I went do downtown Austin last night at about 7pm…in “Rush Hour” traffic. I was talking to a friend of mine while he was headed the same way 3 hours earlier in “Rush Hour” traffic.
A friend of mine quoted “The Holidays are a time when we add stress by being more nice. Seems like an odd deal.” He’s right on the money with that one!
I won’t say that I’m immune to it as I am sure that there are stupid things that I have done in the past week or so, but it just seems to be quite prevalent this time of the year. So, I’m wondering if I’m alone in these thoughts or if other parts of the world suffer from it!?
Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate, and Happy New Year!