Sean Jordan: Talking about tradition
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this time of year gets me thinking about tradition.
For most people, Thanksgiving is a time where we get together with family and friends, eat some turkey, have interesting conversations (hopefully not political), and give thanks to whatever we are thankful for.
However, being the nontraditional kind of guy that I am, I struggle to find a connection with the holiday.
I get the history behind it and I understand traditions keep cultures thriving. I have nothing against that. I fully support keeping cultural traditions alive and well.
But what about starting your own tradition? How does one do that without ruffling feathers? Or do you balance doing what is expected of you with what you want to do?
I think that is my gripe with the holiday. The expectation.
I am typically torn between what I want to do and what others want me to do. I tend to go against the grain and maybe that’s the rebel in me.
On one hand it will make everyone happy if I do what they want, but on the other I will be the one who isn’t fully satisfied. I also understand doing things to make others happy is not a terrible thing, just don’t forget about taking care of yourself.
I know that may sound selfish but isn’t it also selfish to expect someone to show up because you want them to?
The expectation of “Well, it’s the holidays so I better be with my family” is one I cringe at. No I do not hate my family, I just prefer my own traditions. I would rather see my family under different circumstances than a holiday. But that’s just me.
My idea of a tradition may be silly but it’s what makes me … well, me.
Here’s an example: Every May 4 I watch a “Star Wars” film (typically “Empire Strikes Back”). I may invite some friends who share my interests over, but I do not get mad at them for not showing up. Nor do I expect anyone to observe my personal tradition.
It’s a silly thing I do but it has become a tradition in my household.
That said, I understand family wanting to have their children around because they want to be surrounded by people they love.
Just don’t get mad if they don’t want to come home on Thanksgiving. Getting mad never solves anything, nor does it make the family dinner that much more enjoyable.
Personally, I would rather have a tradition that is unconventional and no where near a national holiday.
Pick a random day with whomever you want to include that can commit to it and make your own tradition. Go to a sporting event, or a convention, see a movie, maybe plan a short vacation, but most importantly make it your own.
Contact Prospector Editor Sean Jordan at 530-477-4219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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