“Tradition: peer pressure from dead people.”~ Andrew Martin.
Hahahaha! Loved this quote!
Came across it right after the flux of end-of-year holidays. Folks getting ‘angsty’ about what they ‘should’ be doing, what they ‘can’t be doing,’ and not really taking the time to ask themselves if they Want to be doing (or, in truth, keep doing) …. fill-in-the-blank.
The past several years have given rise to many things ~ including, especially important to my way of thinking ~ having / needing / wanting to change the manner in which they gather: in business, at business, in conferences, continuing ed workshops; at sporting events, homecomings, and playoffs; the manner in which they celebrate their spiritual connections; how they go about expressing friendship and love at celebrations-of-life/funerals, bar and bat mitzvahs, christenings, and unions/weddings. Fasts and feasts. Baby showers, house-warmings, family-and-friend vacations, graduations. And, yes, again, those traditional holidays.
“But, it’s always been done this way.”
Not necessarily anymore, buckaroo!
And that’s a good thing. (The ‘good’ thing being that one gets to Choose how they wish to participate in those traditional activities ~ and even dare to create new ones.)
Just think! No more eye-ball rolls, ‘missed’ flights, sudden cases of diarrhea or distemper, huge consumption of mind-and-mood altering substances before leaving the house to engage in … drum roll … The Tradition. No more sitting in the same space with a few of those folks who ‘give ya the creeps’, or are basically strangers-with-the-same-last-name, those who tell the same jokes (ha?), or irritate the heck outta you with the re-re-telling of “their claim to fame.” Or…. even worse in my personal book…. a further cataloging of each dis-ease symptom progression since you last saw them. (Huh, did she actually just say that!???!) Yup.
Let’s stop insanity. Let’s strive for true connection and celebration that has meaning in today’s today. In YOUR today.
(Hahaha …. I just was recalling how, as a teen and an adult, I’d volunteer to sit at the card table with the ‘kids.’ So much more entertaining and genuine conversations…even when they were snorting over ‘stuffing in the turkey’s butt.‘)
Times change. Those who were part of ~ or even the instigators of long-standing traditions ~ may have died. May be unable to continue their part of the original. See that, acknowledge that, honor that. And them. And create anew. OR NOT. Talk with each other. Find out what other loved ones would like to see happen. Make new.
Only see certain relatives or friends at “weddings and funerals” and wonder why you don’t connect more often? Tell ’em, and DO something about it. Make plans. Create a new tradition from this point-in-time forward.
Use your imagination! Turn something as simple as your popcorn-and-movie night into a marathon out in the back yard, with buckets of popcorn, snacks, and a washtub full of beverages. Hang a sheet as the big-screen-tv. Throw cushions and inner tubes out on the ground. Invite friends (kid-friends too). Send an invitation to BYOC. [Chair] Call it the “Annual Spring/Summer/Autumn Film Festival.” Be creative. Host it every spring / summer / autumn. Have fun connecting with like-minded folks.
For those Traditions you still enjoy? Understand why. Share that with others. They may feel the same ~ and the Tradition continues. They may not, and truly thank you for asking. They, and you, can offer up ideas for something different. Listen and be open to the new. Give it a try. You may have become a co-founder of ….. a new tradition. Ta-Dah!
How lovely is that.