Tradition, i am a big fan. It ties us to people and things we love. It helps us honor the past and keep in our cultures alive. They give us something to look forward to. I have my own traditions that were both handed down to me and that I have started. Funny thing about traditions, sometimes they just seem to start themselves. My state fair going had me thinking of this. One year back in 1996 I decided that since the state fair is something that makes me happy I will just go every day it is going on. I had not realized this would carry on for almost a decade now, but it has.
Here is the next question. What happens when tradition suddenly stands in the way of growth? I have been fortunate that through change in jobs, change in life companions and change in living conditions have all still allowed me to continue one of my favorite traditions. Still with all of the life changes I have went through there have been some traditions that have been lost. I know my life is poised to be better than it has ever been. Still there are things that I enjoyed that are no longer possible to do. For example, I used to work in a small community where they had this great little coffee shop I would go to on lunch. You get into these little routines and you really look forward to them. They had some gatherings I would always attend. Since switching to a different office due to downsizing I am unable to go to them. Also I met the fabulous lady in the picture above. Funny thing about other people, they come with their own traditions too. Now sometimes they don’t always work together either. So you are faced with both doing your separate traditions, which would limit your growth and experience together or forging new traditions and learning each others. Here is where the work is. It takes love, understanding and patience to make this work. Much like anything we discuss here, your state of mind and attitude about the situation will do the most in determining how the outcome will be.
Traditions are a great thing. Hang on to as many as you can. If you find yourself faced with deciding between being able to grow and celebrating a tradition it is time to ask yourself some serious questions. What was the tradition all about? Is there another way to still accomplish the same thing while adjusting to growth and change? Was the tradition tied to a person? Is it time to surrender that tradition to a memory and begin a new one? Often times if we think of what the purpose of our traditions were we can find new and healthier ways to accomplish the same thing. Find new traditions to start with the ones you care about that will bring all involved joy and good health.