Celebrate August!

Today is national Grab Some Nuts Day. Really? What does that even mean? Are you supposed to go to your local mental health facility and kidnap someone, or are you supposed to spend the afternoon shelling almonds? They really should be a little clearer, don’t you think? It’s also Mustard Day, Watermelon Day, Jamaican Patty Day, and IPA Day, to name a few more. In case you’re wondering, a Jamaican patty is like an empanada, and IPA is beer.

August is packed full of interesting days. It’s also peach, catfish, and sandwich month. In other words, August’s special days are a veritable smorgasbord of things to eat. Assuming they’re talking about nuts you eat and not nuts you counsel, of course. (And before you complain, NO, I don’t use the word “nuts” when talking about someone with a mental health condition unless I’m referring to myself.)

I love my calendar that lists all the special days in a month. It’s fascinating, and you can get your very own copy here: https://nationaldaycalendar.com (Be sure to sign up for the daily e-mail so you don’t miss any important days or the meaning behind them.) The calendar is also possibly fattening, because how can you not celebrate hot dog, raspberry cream pie, or ice cream day? Although, I don’t need a calendar to celebrate fattening things, because Sonic and a few other restaurants will send me an e-mail letting me know what special day they’ll have goodies on sale. Like I need prodding to celebrate ice cream.

How do you suppose all these days got named? For instance, August is also Crayon Collection Month. Did Crayola pay big bucks to commemorate crayons? Does anyone really collect them? July was Anti-Boredom Month. To ensure we don’t get bored, someone made it Grilling, Hot Dog, Baked Bean, Picnic, and Ice Cream Month. In other words, somebody decided we were spending too much time inside and filled July with all sorts of stuff to keep us full, outside, and not bored. Who was that, and why do they care if we’re napping?

September 4th is my birthday. As you get older, birthdays don’t mean a whole lot. As a kid, I looked forward to them almost as much as CHRISTmas, but now it’s just another day. Obviously, if the hubby brings in an ice cream cake it becomes pretty special, otherwise not so much. In addition to my birthday, (which, BTW, is NOT listed on the calendar,) the 4th is Macadamia Nut, Newspaper Carrier, and Wildlife Day. I love macadamia nuts, especially if they’re in a cookie, and I rely on my carrier to bring the daily newspaper, so both of those are important. Wildlife? Other than the fact we live with a bunch of rambunctious cats inside, and birds outside who insist on foraging from my fruit trees, we don’t have much to do with wildlife. For a while we had a racoon who showed up on a regular basis, but he/she moved on. Probably because I named it Rocky and it’s not an animated cartoon or Stallone fan. Even the possum who occasionally showed up to steal the stray cats’ food moved on.

I’ve found myself doing almost as much research on this calendar as I do to write a historical novel. That may sound strange, but can you tell me what “Another Look Unlimited Day” is without googling it? Bet you can’t. To save you the trouble, that’s the day you’re supposed to take another look at accumulated “stuff” around your house and recycle, donate, toss, etc. They could have saved me a lot of work by calling it “Clean Your House” day, but that’s probably already taken.

Some are obvious. January 1st is Hangover Day. Doesn’t take someone with an IQ higher than 12 to figure out why. January 3rd is Fruitcake Toss Day. Yep, that’s about as long as you leave one sitting around after CHRISTmas until you decide you can safely toss it without hurting anyone’s feelings. Some, like Fresh Breath Day are less obvious. Shouldn’t it be Fresh Breath Year? Only one day of smelling good. What’s up with that?

One of my favorite days happens on the first Thursday in May. It’s the National Day of Prayer. When I was still with the AF, they held an annual prayer breakfast. There’s something singularly spectacular about eating runny scrambled eggs and undercooked sausage with a bunch of like-minded people. It was even better the year we had bagels, fruit, and cream cheese. (Hard to mess those up.) For one moment in time, everyone is on the same page, regardless of their sex, age, ethnic background, or religion. At most of our functions, every “major” religion was represented, each representative offering up a prayer. I always left there feeling uplifted and ready to take on the world. Too bad we don’t start our day like that every morning. Minus the runny eggs, of course.

August is also Happiness Happens Month. That might seem a little silly, but it does serve a purpose…to remind us to appreciate the small things in life that give us happiness. Like a beautiful red bird discovering one of the birdbaths you put out for them. Or a cat snuggling on your lap. The great-grandchild running in to wrap you in a big hug. The cop who gave you a speeding ticket. Ummm… Maybe not that one. How about finding a peach the birds missed that you can enjoy while watering the garden?

There are a million things in life that should make you smile. There are also a million things that happen every single day that should make you happy. Please be open to recognizing them. Given my option, they’d change it to “Happiness Happens Year,” because happiness should be everyone’s daily goal.

In other words, let’s stop focusing on all the stuff that upsets us, that makes us shake our head and worry what the world is coming to, and start recognizing all the stuff that makes life so beautiful. You don’t really need a calendar to do that, but it helps. Just knowing August 8th is “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day” is worth a chuckle or two. I won’t be participating in that one, because…well…it’s zucchini. I may cheat and sneak some jalapenos onto Ernestina’s porch since the birds won’t eat them and we have too many. Pretty sure there’ll be some happiness happening next door.

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