Friday, June 29, 2007

Special occasions

What do you think of when you think of a special occasion? Do you think of birthdays and Christmas? Do you think of food, especially those that you don't get very often? Do you think of eating out, buying extra or otherwise indulging in something that you don't typically buy?

Why? Why do we live differently on "special" occasions? It seems to me that we should find the way that we like to live and live that way everyday. Sure, some people may decide that they want cake and ice cream everyday, and they will enjoy that (although they will not likely feel well). We try to eat healthy most of the time, why is it that on holidays we decide that eating too much and eating junk is justified? Wouldn't it make more sense to celebrate by eating what you know will help you feel alert and active rather than that which will make you feel tired and groggy?

And then there are the big purchases.... Is it really better to spend excesses of money only on "special" occasions rather than buying what you need, when you need it. If you are trying to live simply, wouldn't it make sense to make the "special" events days when you more fully follow your heart and live your dreams by not buying anything?

As a person who rarely drives, why would I choose to go somewhere that requires a car on a special occasion? It would be more special to me if I could ride my bike further to get there, or be able to ride my bike with my family to enjoy the time together. "Special" days should not be days where we make exception to our principles and feel guilty afterwards. "Special" days should be days when we seek to fully live according to the ideals that we hold true.


Phil said...

If you do the same thing you do every day, then it is not special. For example, some guys I know give their wife flowers every day (or fairly regularly). Other guys only give flowers on an anniversary. Which flower giving event is more special for the wife? The daily flowers cease to have any special meaning because they are an every day occurance. In the same way, if you eat at a fancy restaurant every night, it ceases to be special (all the more reason rich people find it hard to be happy).

I'm certainly not arguing that anyone should compromise their principals, and I think spending more then you can afford because it's a holiday is silly, but I think the whole "feast" on holidays originally came from the days where people raised their own food, did not eat as much meat, and as a "special" celebration, slaughtered an animal for the event.

Doing something once or twice a year that goes against your normal flow not only feels special, but I find it keeps me to my principals on a daily basis. If I only eat meat on weekends, it makes it easier to stay vegetarian during the week, since I know there will be meat on the weekend.

Isle Dance said...

Great points. I've slowly realized that special days are everyday. Extra special days are when I splurge and pamper myself with that which is extra good for me, but is not affordable daily. It makes all the difference in the world.

Emily said...

A person who can be content and true to themselves everyday is a happy person. I envy anyone who can achieve that balance every single day of his life.

I think some people need special days to let go a little because controlling your apetites everyday is stressful and difficult. Not everyone enjoys self mastery, and not everyone can simply control their appetites through sheer will power everyday of their life. Isn't a special day a reward for overcoming something particularily difficult?

Events throughout history have been celebrated as special days. For instance, Christ particated in the feast of the passover when he was living in Jerusalem. He also celebrated at wedding feasts, and participated in special events. Special Events help us remember what we are thankful for, where we came from, and exactly how blessed we are.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend from Africa who commented on all the holidays we Americans have. He pointed out that his home country (Ivory Coast)didn't have half the number of holidays we have and didn't need them because they lived like everyday was a holiday and didn;t need an excuse to be off work to be happy. His favorite saying was Happy Father's Day because he couldn't keep track of which holiday we celebrated.