As we head into the new year and everyone starts reviewing the past year and making new year’s resolutions, I tend to frown upon living in the past or making resolutions that don’t necessarily work in a new year that presents different challenges and circumstances. Tradition is another behaviour that I find contradictory to logical thinking. Why do we bake ten pounds of cookies, stress ourselves out with decorating and seeing everyone we’ve known our whole life in a few days over Christmas? Tradition – that’s why! I stopped many of those traditions a few years ago – I visit people all year, I only bake one dessert for Christmas, I don’t over decorate and I spend precious time with my family. However, there is one tradition that the boys and I adopted last year – football. That tradition was born out of a string of bad luck last Christmas. It started last Christmas Eve with my youngest falling and opening up the back of his head for a few stitches. Christmas day I discovered no hot water and a trip to the basement revealed that our hot water tank packed it in and then a few hours later the toilet in our main floor bathroom flooded, not only the bathroom, but down the wall to the basement as well. I grabbed big bath towels to clean up the water and then changed into my sweats, picked up a football, called the boys and headed to the park. My dinner wasn’t ready, my table wasn’t set and I didn’t care – I wanted out. The boys and I played football until the light was gone and we felt refreshed. This year on Christmas morning we opened our presents, I phoned all of my siblings in Toronto and then the boys and I headed to the park. The boys love it – I consider it time to bond with the boys, the boys consider it time to beat the shit out of mom! However the boys see it – this is one tradition I plan to keep.
I can remember leaving the house with my skates over my shoulder and not returning until the sun went down. It’s never cold enough here for an outside rink, but the odd time the temperature drops I grab my skates and head for the fields.
“The beauty is in the starkness of the trees. The nakedness of winter trees empowers me breathe into the depth of my soul and face my vulnerability only to realize that all that is wrong in this present moment will be replaced by a transformation when I’m held in the arms of the sun.”