I love traditions. I use them as a way to honor those who have left us. But also, my type A enjoys the routine and normalcy of traditions. With a mixture of both desires, I am extremely happy living out traditions, especially during the Holidays. They definitely have evolved over the years, but they seem to be pretty consistent these days. Traditions have a special way of keeping our favorite memories alive, but their permanence can be an illusion at times too.
My point in writing this is because, after the breakup, I’ve had to take a whole different approach to traditions and also change. I hate to admit it, but I wasn’t particularly good (re: adaptive) with change or going with the flow. I loved to think I was, but Juan was good at pointing out the ways where I didn’t really. I like structure. But after April of this year, I let go of a lot of that, not on purpose or with intention. It just happened. Not all of it, but most of it. Things I didn’t ever think would happen, have happened and I’ve taken it in stride. Here are some examples:
I moved off the Grid. — I’m so blessed to be living in a gorgeous home with tons of space (for all my junk) with one of my life-long friends. Living in the ‘burbs increased my sleep quality and overall sense of security.
I live with dogs. — Everyone always asks about this because I am allergic. It isn’t ideal, but it isn’t bad at all. Some days my allergies are bad, some days I forget I’m allergic to dogs.
I will not be hosting Christmas Girls’ Night. — Oddly, this one didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. I thought I’d be super sad about this, but I wasn’t. I was sad at first, but it dissipated pretty quickly. I love that all the Girls made sure that I was okay with this and supported whatever decision I made. My tribe is so considerate and caring, I’m truly grateful for them.
I will not be sending out a family Christmas card. — I send out cards every year, always have. This year, I’m re-thinking this and have no strong desire too. I do miss taking our family picture and creating the most perfect card to send out. I know there will be another time where I get to do this, but for now, I will relish in the idea that this will happen for me one day…when it is supposed too. If I do decide to send Christmas cards out this year, people will get regular ‘ol cards for now. Should I send a selfie Christmas card? HAHA!
I did not decorate post-Thanksgiving weekend. — Usually, I’d have my tree and decorations fully done the weekend after Thanksgiving. Partly because I would be hosting Girl’s Night and partly, because the day after Thanksgiving signifies Christmas in my house. Since I live in someone else’s house, I can’t really decorate how I please, so I wasn’t too worried about decorating this year. BUT I refuse to go through the Holidays without a REAL tree. I’m serious about this, as I’ve told the Parentals I won’t celebrate Christmas morning at their house without a real tree. You think I’m playing?! NOPE! The Guidette was cool with me having a small real tree near my room. So, although it wasn’t the first weekend after Thanksgiving, it was completed on Monday instead 😉
I am proud of the small changes and adaptations l have made the last six months. And even better, I’m not ashamed to say I’m proud for taking all of the changes in stride, instead of being ‘woe is me’ about it all. Something clicked and I realized that change is good and I should embrace it. Sometimes life forces change upon us for a bigger reason, a reason we don’t have control over, nor should we. I get so headstrong about life, I forget that it is malleable at times. Just add it to the list of lessons I’m learning this year.
While most of my decorations remain boxed up, I am grateful and happy to decorate my small, but very REAL tree and my cubicle at work. Just because traditions are no longer or different, doesn’t mean my holiday spirit is gone. I absolutely love the holidays and will embrace every change and tradition as it comes my way. Every morning I wake up and every evening I get to see my small, but beautiful tree filled with love and the essence of Christmas. Some Christmas traditions are still alive and thriving: annual cookie party, December Girls Night, Hallmark movies, and the California International Marathon. And of course, there are new traditions to be had and created, which seem exciting too.
While I love to believe I’m in control of my life, I’m not. Life is much easier when I embrace and adapt to change, versus fight it or try to control it. I’m by no means perfect at this, but I’m trying and I’m proud to say that I am. I am stronger in saying no to the things I don’t want to do and yes to the things that will bring me happiness, joy, and overall good vibes. No longer are the times of forced interactions necessary, I feel less and less obligated to people and things, and it feels so free. It’s not selfish. As you partake in older traditions and cultivate newer traditions, I hope you do it all on your own terms
Remember the reason for the season and do all the things, new and old, with a joyful heart.