The holidays are over, and we're all getting back into our normal routines of drinking excessive amounts of coffee so that we can function at our jobs just enough to earn the money it will take to buy Christmas gifts next year for all the family members we'll spend the next 11 months avoiding.
I had a couple of days off at Thanksgiving, a couple at Christmas and about a day and a half around New Year's Day -- I'm not complaining. But we Americans definitely work too much and enjoy life too little, by and large. I think we need some more holidays.
We've got Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming up next week, but that's more of a time to reflect on the civil rights leader's dream and how it now seems to be slipping further away.
Then we've got Valentine's Day, but for guys that's mainly a lot of stress about making sure you get the right thing for the woman who told you to get her nothing for Valentine's Day. Then there's President's Day, St. Patrick's Day, National Potato Week and so on, but these holidays all seem to involve some degree of stress, money or noise.
I'd like to suggest a holiday based around erasing that last item -- noise. It's based on the concept of a game that my grandmother often proposed when she had a house full of kids in Ideal, Ga. It's called The Quiet Game. I doubt she owned the patent on this game, for I suspect she's not the only adult to propose the kids try it. I always won The Quiet Game at Grandma's house because I was the quiet child and because my little sister and cousin Lisa lost in the first few minutes. Few children actually embraced The Quiet Game, and if they had there would be versions of The Quiet Game for xBox and PlayStation by now.
But The Quiet Game is not for kids, even though they are the con
testants. This is a game designed by tired grown folks for the exclusive benefit of tired grown folks.
What I'd like to see is for The Quiet Game to become a holiday, perhaps Quiet Day. Frankly, I'd like to see this become a monthly or even a weekly holiday, but I'll take one a year at this point.
The world has become too loud. On Quiet Day, we'll read a book instead of watching TV. We'll paddle kayaks and canoes instead of riding personal watercraft. We'll listen instead of talk. We'll put the leafblowers and lawnmowers in the shed and spend some time relaxing on a swing. We'll trade our cars and trucks for bicycles. We'll bowhunt instead of shooting shotguns (or AR-15s). Rock stars will play air guitars. Instead of yelling at stupid people, we'll just shrug our shoulders.
Just for one day, we could get a break from all the racket -- the boom-boom from cars, televisions in waiting rooms, loud engines and notification sounds from the microwave, the home security system and even the washing machine. Yes, even when my washing machine goes quiet -- which I already have taken as a signal it has completed its work -- it has to make loud noises to make sure I know it's no longer making normal washing noises.
So think about it. You won't even have to buy gifts or visit folks. You just have to be quiet for a day. I'd run through some more benefits to this proposed holiday, but I've got to go now.
My phone is ringing.
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