Sunday, February 24, 2013
Happiness - A Sense of Occasion
We live at a point in history where most of the time, if we want something we can get it. I'm not talking the big stuff or life ambitions. I'm talking consumer goods. Feel like a particular type of food, it is probably in your local supermarket. Want some new shoes, there are stores both physical and online full of them.
Gone are the days when a roast chicken was enough of a treat that it was limited for Christmas, dessert was only had after a special Sunday dinner or when a new item of clothing was controlled by rations and expense. In the first world at least, food, clothes and other materialistic possessions in general are cheaper and more readily available than ever before and I think it means that we have forgotten how to make things treats, we have forgotten how to have a sense of occassion.
When I was a child soft drink was reserved only for parties. I remember the almost ceremonial process of choosing the soft drink that we would be allowed to have for the day and then the super excitement if there was any left over that we could have a glass of with dinner over the rest of the week. It was just soft drink but its scarcity made it exciting. Something to look forward to and enjoy.
These days I don't drink much soft drink but there is usually some in the cupboard or fridge. Soft drink has lost its aura of specialness.
I may have lost the battle with soft drink but I do try to maintain a sense of occasion in my life. Any birthday cards or presents I get early are only opened on the day. Christmas decorations go up in December. Special tablecloths and good dinner wear is used for family functions. And then there are hot cross buns ...
Mum talks about how when she was a child they were available for the week before Easter. They were a treat you looked forward to for the whole year. Now you can get them on boxing day - so you can have roughly 4 months of hot cross buns. I love hot cross buns, I really adore them but I know that if I ate them from the moment they were available some of that joy and anticipation would disappear. If they become just something that gets added in the shopping basket by habit they would lose that feeling of treating myself.
I do not quite have the self control to limit myself to just the week before Easter, so I limit myself to having them during Lent, the 6 weeks before Easter. And in those 6 weeks I savoir every mouthful. They truly are a treat, something to look forward to, to relish and enjoy. In this way I make sure that they stay special.
Anticipation of something good is a fantastic feeling but it doesn't have to just be associated with waiting for a big event like a holiday. Adding a little anticipation into every day life by taking things that could be ordinary and making them special is one way to add some great feeling into every day. Hot cross buns are just one of those ordinary things that I make special in my life. It is all about taking a day and making it an occasion.
Do you have things you save for special? What was the last "occasion" you created?