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I had to go to Walmart last weekend to get paper towels, toilet paper, cereal etc. I go there early Saturday or Sunday mornings to beat the traffic. As I walk in the side door by the garden section I see that the Halloween stuff was mostly gone and whatever was left is now on a clearance shelf. Christmas is now being set up. Trees on display, outdoor decorations.

Wait — what?

I don’t normally decorate anymore, except for Christmas, but I realized I had to rethink that decision. I felt like I had to fight back against the greed of the corporate clowns. So down into the scary basement I went and dragged up the few Halloween decorations I have left since my kids are grown and I don’t feel the need to string webbing on the house and put out knick-knacks I’ll just have to move when I dust. I don’t have grandchildren yet so it’s not like it’s a fun day for me.

I guess you could say I had an epiphany. We are very busy with life. Every single moment of every single day is on a time schedule, the kids have to get up and go to school by this time, you need to be to work by that time, you eat lunch at the same time every day, your kids come home at a certain time then go to practice, dance, whatever until whatever time and then you eat dinner and get the kids in bed and go to bed by a certain time. Our days are micromanaged down to the last minute. Should I take the main roads or try the back roads when I have to be somewhere by a certain time? If I’m not in and out of Riverhead by 10:30 a.m. on a fall weekend I know it’s going to take me double the time to get home. That extra 20 minutes I could have done a load of laundry, vacuumed, washed some dishes. Now my whole day is 20 minutes behind and heavenforbid you wake up late! To start the day in a full out, get out of the house rush does nothing but put my day on overdrive from the start. I feel frazzled at 6 a.m. and that’s just crazy. It’s not even real daylight out and I’m already 45 minutes behind schedule.

Back to the whole Halloween thing (which was the original intent of my blog until I drifted away thinking about how many times I’ve run out of time during the day and then have to add it to the next day’s schedule). I realized that not only am I micromanaging mine and my family’s time, greedy corporations that care nothing about you or me are adding to that stress.

I don’t want to look at Christmas items in October. I want to stroll around, look at fall decorations. It is still fall, right? I don’t want to think about or see Christmas paraphernalia just yet. I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out on something that hasn’t even happened yet. I know next month, when the first hint of snowfall is in the forecast, I’m going to think about getting those boots I think about getting and put it off for another time, after all, it’s late September/early October and not a snowflake in sight, and I even though I know every year that if I don’t get those snow boots I need by Oct. 30 the latest, the chances are slim that I will find a pair I like or in my size because everything is already picked through and spring clothing lines will be debuting.

I’m not sure if I’m correct but I recall Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and finally Labor Day all being celebrated according to the calendar, a few weeks before, of course, during and then directly after the day. I remember going with my mom and grandmother to the after-Christmas sales. Now the after-Christmas sales are two weeks before Christmas. This does not make sense to me. I’m sure I’m not the only one to wonder if “they” are putting out all holiday to-do-ery earlier and earlier every year or am I just getting too old and missing the magic? I don’t think I’m too old. I’m certainly not sitting in a rocking chair with an afghan on my lap sipping tea. I actually work full-time and have part-time work on the side. I’m not my mother’s 51 that’s for sure. She wasn’t lazy by any means, she was a go-getter up until she fell ill, but my parents’ time was different than my/our time. Time marches on, things, change, I get it, but this? Christmas on display on Oct 6? Good grief.

And don’t get me started on Black Friday, which actually now starts on Thanksgving Day — which is a Thursday in case you didn’t know. That’s a whole other ball of beeswax best left undisturbed right now. I will give shout outs and kudos, though, to those who gift shop throughout the year for the holidays. That’s smart and a great attempt to give you some much-needed time but I’m sure, if you are like me, you will find something else to fill that spot in.

I personally think we are all missing some of the magic in life but not by our choice. It’s still there, just at the bottom of our daily calendar. Today’s society is go-go-go. Where exactly are we going? Let’s stop, or at least slow down, the craziness that envelopes everyone and just take the time to enjoy the time we have during any of the holidays or seasons. Make the time. You’ll never get it back. That’s the sucky thing about time. You always think you have more of it.

Right now, I’m going to go look for Thanksgiving decorations that my kids made me back in the day to display this year when the time comes. I’ll have them up on Nov. 1 in case you wanted to know. I’m writing it on may calendar right now.

Tanya Zaleski is a Flanders native.

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