Maintaining traditions is powerful. Creating new traditions has a power of its own.
December is a time of traditions for me. With my birthday, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s in rapid succession, I spend a lot of time practicing traditions. Going out with Garrett to one of our bucket list restaurants for my birthday. And eating latkes while we exchange gift cards for Hanukkah. And waking up Christmas morning with the people I care about most. And watching the New Year’s fireworks over a beach in Aruba.
Traditions have a way of bringing us home—to ourselves, to a nostalgic past, to what matters most in our lives.
This year, we created new traditions. It’s the first year Garrett and I went to his home in Pennsylvania for actual Christmas. Of course, we’ve been before—but his work schedule is usually such that getting home for December 25th is challenging. So we celebrate a week earlier or a week later with his family.
And it’s made me think a lot about traditions. Hearing Garrett brag about the food menus, the activities, even the corny jokes has reminded me of just how powerful traditions are. How much they can bring us back to a feeling in an instant.
And no matter how much life changes, or how crazy things gets, we can always go home. Through traditions.
We can always remember what matters most in our lives. And, at the end of the year, it’s a really good time to remind ourselves what matters most.
I love ending the year the way I do. Celebrating myself with my birthday. Celebrating both of my families with the holidays. Celebrating the year that ended and the one that’s about to begin.
And it’s in a particular order. It’s always me first, then the people I love most, then the lifestyle that I really want. And then, when I get home, it’s my annual business anniversary. But I always come first. My families come second. My lifestyle third. And my business fourth.
And my traditions remind me of that.
It’s hard to go from a long weekend of action-packed fun in Pennsylvania with Garrett’s side of the family straight to a plane ride to Aruba with my side and not feel how much love is around us. It’s hard to feel my feet in the sand and stare out over the infinite blue water and not feel that all is perfect in the world. It’s hard to look around at the people I love most and not feel that I’m the luckiest person in the world.
So, today, as I stress to get my last day of work done before a two-and-a-half-week departure (which I may or may not be writing for), I have to pause and remind myself why I’m doing it. Why I’m stressed to finish work, clean the house, do laundry, and pack. Why I’m rushing around to get everything done.
It’s for traditions. Some old, some new. But traditions, nonetheless. The ones that bring me home to who I really am and what matters most in my life.
And that’s worth it. It’s worth all of it. The hectic running around. The packing. The driving. The rushing back to catch a flight.
I wouldn’t change a thing. Because every step of the way—that’s just part of the tradition.
I’m wishing you an exceptional holiday season—whatever holidays those include for you. Honor your traditions. Honor every step of the way. Even the crazy stress. Even the hecticness. Because it’s just part of the process. And you’d miss it all if it were gone.
Use this time to remember what’s really important to you. To look at all of the gifts from 2015. And all that’s to come in 2016.
And give yourself permission to be grateful. So incredibly grateful. Because it only gets better from here.
The better it gets, the better it gets.
It’s been such an honor to grow with you this year. And I look forward to all the magic coming soon.
Originally published at bostonwellnesscoach.com.
Photo: Nana B Agyei/Flickr