One of the beauties of this season of holidays, is traditions. I myself, lead a very transient lifestyle, that is, I tend to pour myself in whatever I am doing (say reading a particular author) but a week from now I might not care at all about the very same author. Or the same food, Or the same TV show - things that I once thought I could not live without. I am a changemonger.
But traditions, such as going to grandma's house for thanksgiving, are touchpoints for me, times when I can be in a place I have been before, doing the same things I did before and in these places, these touchpoints, I can compare myself, how I am now, to how I was then, the other times I was in these places.
In the last few years, I have had too build new holiday traditions, as there is no longer a grandma's house to go to. My sister offered me a place at her table but I have refused due to many factor's none the least of which was cost (about 60 dollars and that was just gas, emotional cost was beyond what I wanted to pay). Instead, I have built a new tradition in which I get to be quiet. I let others be the lives of the party because I want to listen, to listen to myself and feel what I am feeling.
For the seemingly first time in my life, I like what I am seeing inside myself. I like who I am becoming. I like listening. In the past, I felt as if I had to put on a show, to show myself as being someone, some role, in which I was important. I had to be the guy who talked authoritatively about how bad the Bears were (the Bears are like most Chicago teams consistently ungood year in and year out, another tradtion), I had to be the one espousing opinions about this and that. Since I was with family, I felt I had to justify my existance. So as the years went on, I began to loathe family gatherings - since I had to be someone else there rather than being myself.
I, of course, see that now in hindsight. I was blind to it then.
But now I can be myself, and I can be aloof if I want to and I can be conversational if I want to.
And in listening to how I feel inside about that, I realize I love being this way. This is a small thing, I have noticed by listening to myself in these touchpoint places, these holiday traditions.
I hope you all are having a great weekend,