Saturday, November 27, 2010

Making New Traditions, Creating my OWN kind of family

I am not sure if you knew this or not, but I think I have the flu. I know, I know - 10 years and no flu. Then again, I am slowly starting to feel a little better.

While in complete delirium (fever induced I am sure) and the simple fact I just spent the past 4 days with my immediate family in my one bedroom apartment - I came to the realization that I need to create my own traditions and my "own" kind of family.

Hang in there with me folks - I am on meds..

Okay - sooo.. here is the thing.
When I got married in 2000 I was in a different place. I was 27, had the big traditional catholic wedding, married the (baptist) preacher's son and lived in a great house with 2 dogs, a few cats, a garden, and two exchange students. A ready made family, if you will. We all celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving, Valentines Day and Easter - family is 30 minutes away (on both sides) and most of my friends I had known for years and years.

Times have changed, and I am not sure if I have accepted everything.... completely.

See, I met the egyptian right before I got divorced. No, he was not the reason I got divorced, but he was right there to pick up the pieces for me when it was all said and done. I never dealt nor had proper closure from my previous adult life. I moved into uncharted territory - a foreign man from a foreign land with different customs, language and traditions. DUH - I know, you are thinking that.

Here's the thing, I feel like the egyptian and I are like dance partners now, but we are both trying to lead and both know the steps to a different dance. The kind that ends a sloppy mess - yet our intentions are to be great dancers??? Okay.. Okay.. maybe I should write when my meds wear off - but do you understand where I am going with this?

The fact of the matter is - I will never have children of my own. My traditions (from the past) and my husband's traditions are drastically different. But that does not mean they can't become a beautiful fusion. I need to make new traditions for us (with his input - of course!) and create our own little family, a more modern/multi-cultural mix of a family. Two people make up a family unit. We need to see that.

I think another thing he and I have to realize is, unlike couples with children (who can throw themselves into the growth and development of their little ones) - we have only ourselves, with family miles (and oceans) away. I think that I seem to be "working" on my relationship more than most because, well... that's all we have.

With that - I think in 2011, it is time to create our own traditions and recognize our very special type of family. I think the next decade has a lot of amazing things in store for us, and during this holiday season, I will reflect on the traditions I want to keep in my life and the ones I think we could adapt.

What about you? Do you hold onto the past because that's what we know and are comfortable with? Are we living authentic lives and creating our new reality?


Michele Chastain said...

This was such a timely post for me. I've finally realized that I'm betraying myself, and not being who I was created to be, by forcing myself to be around people (family) who have never been good to me, for the simple reason that they're "family" -- in word only.

This was my last year suffering through a holiday stiffly, where love is not allowed to flourish.

Best to you!

Jen G-son said...

Oh how fun!!!!! That's so exciting...maybe David and i should do that too next year when he's around!

Dizzy C said...

A thought provoking post.

I too am now leading a different and happier life from the one I led for 16 years in my previous marriage.

I know exactly what you mean about making your own family traditions.
I spent my prev married life fitting in with extended family on both sides.
Now we are a new family unit and for the past 3 christmas' we have stayed at home making our own traditions.

It is a little difficult because I have 2 children from prev marriage and 1 from this family and the older 2 children know both the old and new.

Has made me realise that not only have I had to adjust to a new way of life but so have the older children. This must be difficult for them to deal with.


wordygirl said...

I soooo get this post! As a person raised by a Jehovah Witness I was never allowed to celebrate holidays, in fact my brother threw my first bday party when I turned 21, so when I was 18 yrs old and living on my own I had to plan my first xmas. It was an adujustment. I eventually relaxed into doing what works for us and not what works for everyone else. Making your own traditions can be great fun. In fact a few yrs ago I decided I was cooking Thanksgiving at my home and people can come or not, but I am not dragging my kids around on that holiday;)or xmas morning. It doesnt work for us!and I also agree with Michele about not spending it with people because they are I think if more of us focused on doing what works and not what is expected there would be a lot less stress on the holidays. said...

We're changing a lot of things this coming year and have been some of this year. Since 'Son' left home a lot of our family 'traditions' have come to an end. It's time to embrace the future. Great post.

Bossy Betty said...

Great post! It made me think about all the ideas I hang on to. Maybe it's time to let some go...

Leanne said...

Really honest and open post, Nicole. I completely agree the importance of finding your NEW traditions in your this life with your husband. It is definitely time to create your own traditions. It's strange because even though I have my daughters to put so much of my energy into, it means so much to me that I start my own traditions in my home. It's something I've believed strongly in doing since PG and I got married (long before our girls joined us.) Change is good . . . even the change of a tradition is good.

Leanne said...

p.s. Hope you are feeling better! :)


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