Mother’s Journal – January 2017

Traditions. My husband and I have talked at length about maintaining old and creating new traditions in our family. Viewed from the lens of looking back on the past year helped us see more clearly which direction we want to steer this ship in the coming months. We actually wrote down all of our family’s traditions that we could think of as we discussed which ones we want to continue and which to let go. So many of our traditions have fallen away over time with the growing up of children.

Some traditions just don’t make sense anymore. Some traditions without the kids aren’t all that fun.

We had to face the reality of having four very active children who have chosen a rather vagabond lifestyle in their twenties. We love being “home base” and we also love being able to pick up and go whenever we can manage it as a couple. With my husband’s impending retirement this year, that freedom will even increase. We are anticipating the sale of our current house and making a big move sometime in 2017 so it is the perfect time to reevaluate our traditions, feeling out some new ideas.

I have felt a little at drift.

My personality loves routine and thrives on traditions and cycles. The thought of having a year where nothing is put on paper because we don’t know where we will be living has me unsettled. Thus, we came up with the idea to create some milestones for me to depend on and then work within that framework. If a tradition comes from these plans, all the better.

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February 2016 Trip to Southern California

Big Plans for 2017

We are meeting my daughter for a warm white sandy beach week in February which gives me that to look forward to and we are anticipating all our favorite traditional activities while we are there. We had a February warm weather trip to San Diego in 2016 and it was just what we both needed. We all have been saving for this trip over the past year because we realized it is something that we want to do to connect each year. She needs to escape the cold New York winter so it is a perfect fit for both all of us. A new tradition!

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April 2016 Shenandoah National Park

There is also a trip on the books now to meet two of my children over the summer for a trip to Canada….I will fly to New York and the we will all drive together up to Toronto. If they both decide they will be living in New York, this may also become a tradition.

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New shared hobby- kayaking!

My husband has planned a big camping trip in August that we can take no matter where we find ourselves living at that time. We decided that we would pick the week and any of the children that can join us will be more than welcome. Our gathering as a complete family has become highly impractical so we need to just enjoy what we can have which is a wonderful trip to a beautiful place, either on our own or with some of the kids. There may be a time in the future when we can be located more closely together but this time isn’t that chapter in our lives. At least right now there is only one child living out of the country (in Guyana!).

The Big Move

In the meantime, as I pack boxes and give things away, my mind is more at ease with the “coming together” times we have placed on the calendar. I will let you know how the anticipated new traditions go as we put them in place.

Maybe this is a time for decluttering all aspects of my life. As I wrote this post, I realized that I have been doing this clearing out in a physical way with my material possessions. It only makes sense now that I am doing the same thing with our family’s traditions…clear away all but the very best and meaningful rituals that still touch our hearts.

Like a flash of understanding, as I finish this post, it occurs to me this also fits in with my word of the year which is PURPOSE. I have been researching, reading scripture, and meditating on the idea of purpose. Do the traditions we are keeping serve the purpose we are intending…to bring joy and connection?

And so I will leave it there. You can imagine me as I go through the next few months contemplating these thoughts. There will be big changes but I will strive to keep connected through the joy of traditions both old and new.

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