With the annual year-end holidays behind us, we can reflect with nostalgia upon those hours spent relaxing and sharing food and fellowship with family and friends.
Or, perhaps, those quality hours spent on the clock with co-workers.
Even as the carols are cheering, everyone is in a giving mood and smiles light faces a little more often, the holidays can also be more than a bit overwhelming. As great as it is to see everyone, all of the obligations can be exhausting. It can seem like there’s hardly a spare moment, and you have to move at light speed to try to get everything done to meet everbody’s expectations.
And you’re expected to keep up with your regular pace at work as well.
Was it always this crazy? Or have the holidays gotten more stressful over time?
We’d love to see a return to a time when businesses could close up shop for a few days, if not a week or so, around the holidays. We tend to think that we wouldn’t be able to survive without shops open seven days per week, but this breakneck pace wasn’t always the norm.
It would be nice if we could, collectively, hunker down for a while and just give ourselves a rest during or after the holidays. We venture to offer the idea that the world would not stop turning if we did.
Consider the retail workers who didn’t even get all of Christmas Day off. There’s something fundamentally flawed with our society now that we find it unfathomable that there’s a single day out of 365 when we can’t buy stuff. Think about that. Think about what that says about our priorities in life.
There were, of course, local stores and shops that closed for a day or two on Christmas and perhaps Boxing Day. Kudos to them. But if local consumers wanted something on those days, they could probably find somewhere to get it. Which increases the pressure on competitors to reciprocate to keep their share of the action.
How did we get here, why are we here, and do we want to stay here?
These are important questions that are only going to become more vital as we head into the future. Stress is at an all-time high. We need to re-learn how to slow down. We need to re-learn that this is a desirable thing.