Dawn O'Donoghue: Let's not rush to grow up
Why are we always in such a great hurry these days? Easter eggs appear on Boxing Day, "back to school" products are on the shelves (and often sold) before the children break up for summer and Christmas seems to start in August.
The boundaries for childhood have ceased to exist, with young children often more technologically equipped than most adults; clothes which are age-inappropriate; and birthday parties have gone from cake, games and friends to stretch limos, Buck's Fizz and party bags containing outrageously expensive items.
Psychologically, we're urged constantly to "act our age" and yet the period known as our "prime" seems to change regularly.
Apparently, the new 30 is 50 (so there is hope for me yet) and yet we are considered too old for many careers.
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Botox, liposuction and plastic surgery is now sought by young girls (some obviously not fully grown) who are actively encouraged by their over indulgent parents to have nose jobs, boob reductions and (unbelievably in one case) a face lift because, at 16, she felt she had wrinkles!
I often ponder how fast time flies but do feel that we, as a race, are constantly pushing time along with our need for speed and the ever expanding consumerism cycle, which demands you buy your Creme Egg in January because, quite possibly, there won't be any left for Easter anyway.
Our changeover of seasons has however been fairly regularly adhered to.
Spring has always traditionally been around March 21 (my dad's birthday) and, give a day or two, I can't ever remember it occurring on the March 1 until now when our local television station proudly announced the first day of spring despite the fact that temperatures are reasonably miserable and there was still 20 days to go.
So why do we need to keep changing the boundaries?
What is this urgency to get there faster or grow up quicker so many people wish us to experience?
A nightmare scenario will see me be able to travel to other areas of the world so fast that time will bend and I'll arrive a good week before I left – great if you get an extended holiday.
I'll be able to buy my Christmas gee-gaws for 2018 in 2015, have Easter eggs all year round and children will either be on a constant summer break or simply attend school 24/7 for every day of the year.
Perhaps babies will be booked in for rhinoplasty before birth resulting in every child looking as plastic as its over-sculptured parents.
Not a desirable future, being rushed at super-speed so our lives are practically spent before we reach an age where we are aware it's too late to stop running and simply enjoy being us, at the right time of year with no pressure to hurtle headlong into oblivion.
I'll take it slow and steady for now (given my ancient status) and look forward to spring actually occurring where it should – on March 21.