moonlit-tulip:

Back when I was a teenager who’d just learned how to generalize the concept of Trying To Optimize Things, I found the concept of holidays somewhat silly. Surely, I thought, if a celebratory activity is fun or otherwise valuable enough to be worth doing at all, it’s worth doing always, rather than constraining it to one day a year. Surely, I thought, if a celebratory activity isn’t fun or otherwise valuable enough to be worth doing normally, it’s not worth doing during specialized holidays, either. And surely, I thought, even for those activities which are expensive enough or low-demand enough that it does make sense to do them relatively infrequently—expensive fireworks shows, for instance, or elections—it’s better to do them whenever it makes sense given the specific logistics of the limits they’re under, rather than pinning them to the calendar in any sort of strict fashion.

There’s a sense in which I still partially agree with my past self. There are many holiday activities, like wearing costumes on Halloween, that I’d find it valuable to disperse more widely throughout the year. (And, indeed, I struggle somewhat with finding costumes to wear for Halloween, nowadays, because I wear Whatever I Want all year round now and thus lack the “wear something I want to wear but couldn’t usually bring myself to for expected-social-disapproval reasons” angle of costume-selection which makes it easy for many others.) And there are many other holiday activities, like fasting on the various Jewish fast days I grew up with, which I find valueless enough that I don’t bother with them even during the holidays where they’re the Official Means Of Celebration.

But, looking back, my past self was looking at things through the wrong frame. The value of holidays isn’t specifically in doing things which are fun or otherwise valuable, but rather in doing things which shake oneself out of one’s usual life-pattern temporarily. Breaking from one’s standard daily routines, and thus getting the chance to notice flaws in those routines or opportunities for improvement, in a way which would be actively impeded were the celebratory activities to be made common enough for people’s standard routines to start factoring them in. The fun is just the hook to get people willing to take breaks from their usual patterns in order to participate in those routine-breaks.

Because there’s a large class of traps one can fall into wherein one has routines, these routines are bad (or at least less-good-than-available-alternatives) for achieving one’s goals, but the nature of the routines is such that it’s hard to notice the availability of whatever less-bad alternatives might exist. Having a dedicated day for “go do something weird and off-routine”, then, serves as a way to ensure that one has the chance to step out of whatever tunnel-vision one’s normal routines might inflict. A chance to rest and relax, if otherwise in a state of permanent exhaustion, or to do something intense-and-tiring, if otherwise not doing much; a chance to spend time hanging out with crowds, or with small groups of people, or alone, if one usually doesn’t get the chance for one or more of those activities; a chance to spend time outdoors, if usually inside, or to spend time inside, if usually outdoors; et cetera.

(These are, to be clear, not intended as an example of routine-breaking things that it would make sense to compress together into a single holiday, but rather as examples of things that would make sense to try to cover within the space of a properly-diverse collection of holidays.)

More specifically, then: a well-designed holiday should involve activities which are fun or otherwise fulfilling and worthwhile-feeling for most people—in order to drive people to participate—but which are not part of most people’s normal routines and not easy to integrate into said routines, in order to help give people the sort of out-of-routine experiences that might help them catch potential improvements to their routines. And then there should be sufficiently many different well-designed holidays that, even taking into account that any given person is likely to find some of the holidays unfun-and-thus-skippable and to find some of the holidays’ activities to fall within their normal routines, most people will still end up getting a nonzero number of properly-routine-breaking holiday experiences per year.

Not all holidays are well-designed, by this standard. America has several interchangeable holidays whose primary means of celebration is “do a barbecue”, for instance, and several more which don’t really have any standard celebrations at all beyond “take the day off work” and/or “do some sort of party maybe”, which would benefit a lot from more differentiation than they’ve currently got. But many holidays are well-designed, by this standard. So I no longer dismiss the value of holidays so much, nowadays. They’ve got room for improvement, sure—some holidays would benefit from the addition of more distinctive and/or more enjoyable celebration-patterns, and some days which currently aren’t holidays would probably benefit from being turned into holidays—but the general idea is sound, nonetheless.


Tags:

#yes this #but also‚ dedicated routine-breaking days serve as a *meta*-routine #a way to give rhythm to the passage of time #I’ve had to skip or reschedule so many holidays these past few years because of resource constraints and it’s awful to be so unmoored #(originally I was going to reblog this on Boxing Day) #(during the time I would normally have spent exploring the mall together with my mom but which we could not afford this year) #(but I was not really feeling up to talking) #(however‚ this week we celebrated my mother’s birthday late because everyone else was working that day) #(so this seems like another fitting time to bring it out) #((*could* we have arranged to take the day off? yes. but loss of wages is its own punishment.)) #time #tag rambles #adventures in human capitalism #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see


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qqueenofhades:

Just took psychic damage from reading the words “a quarter of a century ago in 1996,” and if I have to suffer, so do you.


Tags:

#no that can’t be right #1996 was at *least* two hundred years ago #time #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what

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rustingbridges:

I have cleverly arranged my schedule so that I can participate in both canadian and american thanksgiving. I have no idea what canadians do for canadian thanksgiving but I ate a lot. wikipedia claims:

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians may gather for their Thanksgiving feast on any day during the long weekend; however, Sunday is considered the most common.

which is, frankly, a lot more sane than having specifically thursday off for dinner. no I am not suggesting any amendment to the american practice

brin-bellway:

#frankly I like eating so I might adopt canadian thanksgiving to me extended schedule of holidays #dont currently have anything between labor day and thanksgiving unless we count 9/11 but that’s still a month ago #fills a good hole

The Objectively Correct solution to Columbus Day discourse.

rustingbridges:

hmm apparently google calendar a) doesn’t recognize Casimir Pulaski day and b) will not let you add a repeating event in the form of “nth day of the week of [month]”. going to need better software

til there is a federal “general pulaski day” on october 11th which google also does not recognize. federal german-american day is october 6th. but going by holidays people actually celebrate it seems preferable to leave mr pulaski in march and double thanksgiving. every day can be a holiday if you try hard and believe in yourself. this is my goal

brin-bellway:

There was a children’s magazine I was once subscribed to for a while as a kid (something run by Disney, I think) where each issue came with a calendar, and every day on that calendar was marked with one or another National Insert-Thing-Here Day or World Something Day (often two or three of them).

Sure, many of them are arbitrary marketing efforts, but hey, if you think something’s neat, why *not* observe–*throws dart*–Butterfly Day on–*googles*–okay apparently there are several Butterfly Days, one of which overlaps with Pi Day. BRB, making a pie crust with butterfly shapes on it.

rustingbridges:

exactly! if I wake up with the feeling today ought to be a special occasion, why shouldn’t I!


Tags:

#conversational aglets #time #fun with loopholes #discourse cw? #food

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rustingbridges:

brin-bellway:

rustingbridges:

I have cleverly arranged my schedule so that I can participate in both canadian and american thanksgiving. I have no idea what canadians do for canadian thanksgiving but I ate a lot. wikipedia claims:

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians may gather for their Thanksgiving feast on any day during the long weekend; however, Sunday is considered the most common.

which is, frankly, a lot more sane than having specifically thursday off for dinner. no I am not suggesting any amendment to the american practice

#frankly I like eating so I might adopt canadian thanksgiving to me extended schedule of holidays #dont currently have anything between labor day and thanksgiving unless we count 9/11 but that’s still a month ago #fills a good hole

The Objectively Correct solution to Columbus Day discourse.

hmm apparently google calendar a) doesn’t recognize Casimir Pulaski day and b) will not let you add a repeating event in the form of “nth day of the week of [month]”. going to need better software

til there is a federal “general pulaski day” on october 11th which google also does not recognize. federal german-american day is october 6th. but going by holidays people actually celebrate it seems preferable to leave mr pulaski in march and double thanksgiving. every day can be a holiday if you try hard and believe in yourself. this is my goal

There was a children’s magazine I was once subscribed to for a while as a kid (something run by Disney, I think) where each issue came with a calendar, and every day on that calendar was marked with one or another National Insert-Thing-Here Day or World Something Day (often two or three of them).

Sure, many of them are arbitrary marketing efforts, but hey, if you think something’s neat, why *not* observe–*throws dart*–Butterfly Day on–*googles*–okay apparently there are several Butterfly Days, one of which overlaps with Pi Day. BRB, making a pie crust with butterfly shapes on it.


Tags:

#time #reply via reblog #fun with loopholes #discourse cw? #food #Pi Day


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official-kircheis:

things I, a highly educated adult don’t know off the top of my head:

  • which months have 30 days and which have 31
  • what the Nth letter of the alphabet is

sigmaleph:

basically nobody knows the second one ime, it just doesn’t come up often enough

months though. those are important. we’re in a month right now.

official-kircheis:

aw fuck, again? it keeps happening. when will it end.

sigmaleph:

midnight on the 30th.

official-kircheis:

no I mean when will we stop having months

sigmaleph:

oh! beginning of day 0 of the new calendar.


Tags:

#anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #time #overly literal interpretations

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plasmapop:

plasmapop:

5b5aab97a80ba53a4e31e73d7225f855f3e6cb94

20/04/20 • title is the subject line of an email about middle egyptian classes. italics are ‘quotes from my middle egyptian prof that i happened to write down’ 

#…apparently this post was *not* made in October #it was posted in June and that date implies it was written in April #which means that truck of emotional resonance that hits you at #“it is october‚ and i wait for the symptoms of spring/it is april‚ but only when i close my eyes” #is not *intended* to be there #or at least *that* particular truck isn’t #but fuck it they sing it back to you for 85000 reasons (via @brin-bellway)

yeah so possibly this unintentionally contains a timeloop thing. you’re right that it was written in april but it also grew out of various sentences from my diary-ish notebooks. the line about october/april was written in october 2019 and was vaguely about seasonal depression / winter Sucks and april is when you can See trees starting to grow leaves again. then when i was putting the poem together in april obviously that resonated in…… a very different way. so i was like yeah ok sure. and now it’s october again and it has a whole new but not unrelated meaning!! poetry timeloop

#so yeah intent doesn’t really…… matter and usually i don’y reblog things onto this blog

#but this time it’s kinda interesting bcs i Did actually intend it Kind Of this way but then also the intent got Out Of Control!!!

I wrote a post [link] about time standing still during the plague, so it makes sense that that was the first meaning that hit me. I can see *multiple* COVID-related interpretations, though: one could also interpret it, not as waiting for the spring of 2020 that never came, but as waiting for the metaphorical blooming of a post-plague world (which *could* potentially happen during a literal springtime too).

The second interpretation that occurred to me was a Northerner moving to the Southern Hemisphere, the experience of the local Octobers carrying what they still think of as a certain essential April-ness.

Also I just took the exam for my penultimate semester and late next month I start my final semester, so…obviously it depends on how much 2020 Bullshit I have to deal with in the next few months, there could well be delays, but the single most likely month for “what month am I going to officially receive my diploma” is April 2021. Next spring will likely be a metaphorical spring for me personally, the blooming of the next stage of my life, entering my career.

Plus there’s that seasonal-depression interpretation, which I did not think of on my own but yeah I can see that.

Layers!!


Tags:

#reply via reblog #poetry #time #death tw #covid19 #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #illness tw #adventures in University Land