THE city’s car parks are half empty in the morning, the parks are half full in the afternoon and the school run is non-existent.
Our CBD businesses are waking up after the Christmas and new year period – but slowly, with a stretch and a yawn, as is natural after a bit of a rest.
Our politicians – local, state and federal – are still relatively subdued, not yet willing to make any wild announcements or big promises when they’re uncertain whether all eyes will be on them or the Ashes or Big Bash cricket.
Holiday books are still being read, new year’s resolutions are still alive (but only just) and there seems to be less reason to hang around late at work because, after all, things are still a bit quiet and there’s always tomorrow.
It’s not a bad time to be in Dubbo – but it won’t be long before it all changes.
The shame of this time of year – a quieter time of year, a less rushed time of year, a time of year when people seem to think more about family and friends than getting ahead and hurrying to the next appointment – is that it doesn’t last longer.
It won’t be long before there’s a more determined gait among the CBD’s workers and there are fewer parks in Macquarie or Talbragar or Church streets in the middle of the day.
When you hear the first person talking about being so busy they can barely sleep or being absolutely run off their feet, then the lazy days of high summer will be officially over.
But maybe we should do more to remember the lessons of those lazy days.
Lesson one is that the office does not fall down if we are not there. In fact, it remains remarkably intact despite many of us taking a break during this period.
Lesson two is that time spent with family and friends is memorable time. It will linger longer in the mind than any number of interchangeable evenings on the couch in front of the TV after a long day at work.
Lesson three is that sometimes less is more. A day that isn’t stuffed full to the brim with activity and self-improvement and social appointments can be just as pleasant as one that is. Sometimes it can be more pleasant.
And lesson four is that in a busy world – and a world that is getting busier – sometimes it’s nice to take a bit of time to rest, relax, recuperate and recover.
We can’t be busy all the time. That’s why we have early January.