A New Year, Traditions, and Changing Our Minds
How much do I love the advice that someone once gave me early on, right after we brought Bridger home from the hospital: “You can change your mind”? You guys KNOW I love it, because I’ve mentioned it in at least 57% of the posts I’ve shared this last year and a half.
We can change our minds. Thank God.
That takes so much pressure off. And it allows us to admit the lack of control we truly have because, by nature, the phrase embraces the fact that each hour, and day, and new year can bring with it unexpected differences and necessary alterations.
Our babies teach us to be like water (my other favorite mantra these days)…molding to what comes our way in gentleness while holding the capacity to be as powerful as a storm or canyon-cutting rivers through persistence. Different days call for different philosophies, and the self-permission to change our minds says that we can now forfeit the stress of “sticking to our guns” and “well, this was how we said we would do it, so…”
What are our traditions? Well, we don’t really know. We’re making them, and I think maybe one day, they’re going to stick.
Here, at the start of a new January, reflecting back on the chunk of blurred time that was the last two months, I realize that we still don’t have a clue how we are going to handle Santa. Meaning, we’re not sure how we’ll navigate the world of friends and cousins and classmates as we take a different approach. We’ve done gifts the same way for two years now, but that feels subject to change with any valid suggestion of simplicity that blows through my Facebook feed (do you have one??). We want our kids to have those page marking traditions in their annual experiences that give them joy and ownership and draw them back home. But we don’t know what they are yet.
Will we be a “something want, need, wear, read” family?
A homemade gifts only family?
A New Year’s resolution/reflect on the good and bad from the last 12 months around a brunch spread family?
I think this is me publicly giving myself permission to change my mind again, even about things like traditions. And with the authority vested in me on this here milkdrunkblog, I pass that permission onto you as well.
And look! All that pressure doesn’t have to be condensed and packed onto November and December (I mean…the holidays really are historically odd in origin anyway, right?). We can party even during non-holidays! Because, not only is it a tad bit sad for lots of people when the glitter dies down at the end of the year. But our world needs all the celebration it can get for these next twelve months!
We can scatter significance, tradition, and festivity all over the place! Monotony is an invitation to party for no good reason. Like Mary Anne Perrone says: “Light your best candles on ordinary days,” right?
Let’s have date days with our little people, start taking “magic walks” in the evenings where we look for things to marvel at, go on trips with our kids when they turn thirteen, serve at soup kitchens together on a random day every March, have parades on your block every fifth Sunday. You know, happy and special stuff because we are alive and…even during seasons when we have little control…we can still make stories and memories out of nothing.
Try a thousand things out, and then the ones you want to do again next year become traditions, at least for then.
What are some that have become important for you? Especially the non-holiday ones??