As another summer draws to an end and the days grow shorter you can see people scurrying about trying to squeeze in those summer time activities before the season changes. I recall a time when summer used to be considered the lazy, hazy days when folks just kicked back a little and let the world pass by. We weren’t as plugged in back then and summer life always took on a different feel and pace.
Leisure time, family get-togethers, picnics and in general a slowdown in the pace of everyday life was the order of the day as the public soaked up the opportunity to just enjoy life and escape the heat. Kids enjoyed the last few weeks of vacation and parents began finalizing their back to school shopping lists.
Talk of the town back then was the new TV fall line up that would promptly start in the beginning of September on any one of the three TV networks, the must have lunch box design for those heading back to school or the new car redesigns that were an annual fall event. Back then it was the little things that were celebrated and perhaps that was the secret to summer’s slowdown. Sitting on the porch watching the world go by was the perfect way to top off a great summer day.
So where am I going with all this nostalgic thought? Am I just an old timer who dreams of days gone past? No, not really, but as I reflect on the issues facing the American family and individuals as we struggle through these difficult economic times, it’s easy to find fault with society today. In finding fault we complain about what we don’t have rather than appreciating what we do have available to us.
The birth of new child, a christening, a child’s birthday party, a family reunion or even a child’s sporting event are the events that define life and defy the ages. What parent, grandparent, relative or close family friend doesn’t share the same joy today that their counterparts enjoyed at any time in the past? The only difference today compared to earlier times is that the events are squeezed into short time spans as life today pulls us all in so many directions in such short periods of time.
We really do need to slow down, absorb a little less of the outside noise and savor these life events. That, in a nutshell, to me, seems to be the one simple thing in today’s hectic lifestyle that has changed our society in a way that has affected how we interact with each other. We are bombarded with so much information that demands our attention. We carry around little devises that keep us focused on so much that it is nearly impossible to carry on a conversation let alone just kick back and enjoy the really important things in life. We have allowed too many things to become too important and cause distractions.
Current day society and current events will always have an impact on how the pace of life changes through the ages, but the priorities we place on ourselves are self imposed and we must over time take stock in how we choose to live our lives and the value we place on the time which is ever fleeting. It’s easy today to get so caught up in all the new technology, the massive amounts of information we have streaming into our homes and the constant demands of our time. It’s also easy to completely lose track of the time spent just trying to keep pace with it all, only to wake up someday and realize a significant portion of your life has quickly passed by.
The solution is to keep your priorities grounded and share time with those you love and respect. Enjoy the lazy days of summer; include time to kick back and spend time with those people who truly impact your life. The world with all its ups and downs, scandals and threats will still be out there when fall returns, but summers are special and each summer should be filled with unique memories that last a lifetime.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.