As winter sets in and with the human tendency is to hibernate, comes reflection. Drawing upon memories both recent and past, memories can be like vapor. Like vapor, you cannot hold them in your hand, misty visualizations just a thought away.
As time passes the fog may thicken making way for one’s own interpretation.
Depending on your motivation/disposition, those seeking pity as a survivor of hardship may exaggerate past experiences embellishing details as for the creation of ones own personal “Odyssey”.
On the other end of the spectrum, circumstances of mediocre events can be reshaped/glorified, placing them on a pedestal as a trophy which was never warranted.
Recognizing that there are times when we are in the valley and our lives lack joy and happiness. Where else do we have to turn but our memories?
During these melancholiac times, memories can easily turn to bitterness because of the longing for the “glory days”. A cautionary note during this yearning for what was, our vision may be clouded to the blessings directly in front of us. I cannot think of better insurance in the pursuit of happiness than to make a daily deposit of thankfulness into our memory banks. Thankfulness for what is right in front of us. Peace.
So where are you going for Thanksgiving? When are you coming over for Christmas? Are you coming over for Easter?
As a man, I can understand that from a primitive standpoint, traditional gatherings are clan-like in nature. Similar to a wolf pack returning from a hunt paying homage by nuzzling the Alpha wolves of your pack, cementing each other’s places in the hierarchy and keeping the pack strong.
“A daughter’s a daughter for the rest of her life, a son is a son til he takes a wife”
As this poem so prophetically describes, I propose it IS the wife/woman that establishes family tradition. This is a great responsibility not to be taken lightly.
As the husband/male on the other hand, I see that my role is to support the traditions my wife is establishing as long as,
- The intention of these traditions is to first and foremost keep our nuclear family strong
- They contribute to the bonding of the extended family clan/tribe.
These extended relationships and bonds are like bank accounts where the parties involved each put in 60/60 so when times get tough, there is always 20% left in the account. This means at times this may be inconvenient uncomfortable.
Cautiously, I must confess I have reluctantly attended gatherings under duress for the benefit of the clan. Again cautiously, I admit sometimes they sucked 🙂 but usually there was laughter and sense of belonging.
Standing back, I can also see that it wasn’t about me but the next generation of boys/young men watching my actions/learning their role in the clan by MY example.
May our traditions be healthy and become something bigger than ourselves that keep our families strong .
Happy Holidays and may the dysfunction be forever in your favor. Peace.