Posted on 25th December 2019 at 20:02
Do you follow the same traditions at Christmas, New Year, or any other time of year?! Or are they simply actions you go through to keep the peace within your family or tribe?!
I read of people doing the same thing day in, day out, year in, year out, and I can't think of anything more boring personally! Such a good job that we are all different.
Whilst it's nice to create memories, bonding and all that jazz, it's also even nicer (in my humble view) to create lasting memories of personal adventures, something different; activities you never thought you'd do. I am not talking about hanging onto a zip wire (done that) or wing-walking (not yet, although I have flown an open top pre-war glider). Simple activities like strolling along a riverbank; seeing a trout jumping; observing wildlife in nature etc are all admirable and pastimes I enjoy too, I now realise in my 60s that I need more than the average bunny to retain my interest, and that I may even have the modern condition of ADHD - in my day it was called curiosity and thirst for life!
Take your home, your car, even your partner for example. Some of my peers at school have celebrated over 40 years married to the same person - although 20% of our cohort are now dead! Whilst on one hand it's sweet to hear of people who have been glued to each other's side for so many years, on the other hand I wonder if they ever created their own identity and know who they are as individuals. I hope they did. some people keep the same car for years and years. I don't think i've ever kept a car for more than two years - I get bored, you see.
I've enjoyed 27 homes that I can remember, three husbands and the odd boyfriend (yes, some of them were odd), several businesses (most good, some not), and many projects under my belt as a business mentor. My life has been dramatic at times, exciting and sometimes down right scary but I have no regrets (other than I could have been more savvy with money, although money itself doesn't interest me per say).
As the Frank Sinatra song goes ......
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all, and I stood tall
l And did it my way
I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me
I did it my way
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
I've been happily single for the past 15 years and apologise openly to all of my husbands who I loved at the time, and still do but not in a marrying kind of way.
My first husband commented recently that I should never have married once never mind three times. He was right and so was my Dad who died six months before I married number one in 1976. Dad gave us his blessing on his death bed, and also told me that although my husband was (and still is a good man), the marriage wasn't right for me. Little did I appreciate that marriage, fullstop, wasn't for me in truth as I felt caged in every time.
Life is too short. I don't care who you are, what your background is, how much money you have, your creed, colour, environment, education or where you live. In my world, you are a nice person, kind, an empath, humble and grateful. You give your best, say nice things about people, pay compliments, smile and do the best you can every single day and with the best intentions. Like me, you may screw up at times, be misunderstood and don't always present yourself in the best light, however, you do so with a kind heart for the best outcome.
So my tradition, is doing always doing something different. This year is my first in Portugal where I have moved (home number 27) to participate in two major eco projects. My two children, of whom I am immensely proud, are independently living and thriving in their own ways in the UK. I am no longer needed in my family on a day to day basis and so calculate that I have the next 40+ years to contribute a positive difference to the world in which I live and leave a lasting legacy - bring it on! The two projects have many parts and so I have plenty to retain my interest at last.
It's taken years to find me. I love me. I am proud of me and I know my late parents would be too, although they never/rarely said so.
Be mindful that it's never too late to start anything. The lengthy part is making the decision. Once you decide, the rest flows!
Enjoy creating or living your own traditions and please don't wait for Christmas or New Year. Every day is a blessing. Enjoy and make the most of every one.
My PA recently asked a group of us for just one word to guide us through 2020. Jess selected the word GROWTH which is a great word as so versatile and fits pretty much any situation. I failed to muster one single word last week when she asked the question. Here are seven of the most important words in my life:
Hope - always have hope no matter how glum a situation is
Inspiration - be inspiring to others and gain inspiration from others too - make a difference
Gratitude - be humble and grateful for what you have - always
Honesty - be authentic and honour yourself, never try to be someone else - ever
Integrity - do the right thing- always, every time
Family - we all need to belong in some way - find your tribe - it may be your relations or could be a group or club
Love - love yourself, love everything you do and everyone you come into contact with - in that way, life will always be the best at that time, and remember that we can only live in one moment at a time.
My dear departed friend Jackie often said - "in this moment, this precious, precious moment".
Make every moment count, and have fun creating and enjoying your own traditions.