December is certainly a time where traditions are falling out of Santa’s sleigh in abundance. Stepping into the New Year we often analyse our habits and try to improve them for the year to come, whether that be by exercising more, eating healthier or taking on a new challenge.
This all makes sense in a world where I often reflect on what I’ll leave behind. What will our legacy’s be? A positive mark on the world or consumed so much plastic it’s a long discarded tooth brush with DNA on it that will last the longest?
This December I learnt that traditions are only positive if they serve you and those around you. My family ditched the Christmas crackers many moons ago – we just don’t need the naff novelty toys, plastic and excessive paper across and already cramped table. I didn’t replace them with anything and rarely anyone comments.
With the controversial lockdown Christmas’s of 2020 we learnt that it was the people around the table that mattered. The food an added bonus. This was a lesson I hope remains long after the pandemic.
Last year our Turkey wasn’t fit for human consumption and the Boxing Day beef was brought in a day early…it was just as delicious and it caused my rebellious streak to build momentum. The result was that this year I really mixed up the menu – the result was meals from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day where everybody enjoyed what they consumed. Many favourites from the Mr’s love of Yorkshire puddings, to my sons delight of macaroni cheese played a part (not in the same meal I should add) and although we all had full plates and content bellies, little was left over and nothing was wasted, to the extent that my Mum took home the small Turkey carcass to make soup with. It also meant that I didn’t spend half of Christmas chained to the kitchen side board and had more quality time with those dearest to me. What did I learn? That traditions become shackles if they don’t serve you in this moment. If you don’t like Turkey, stop consuming it every Christmas and Thanksgiving.
I remember growing up and walking to school with a friend and our Mums closely nattering behind. In the run up to Christmas we would share the traditions of our homes; it always throws me that the same celebration has so many variations in each home. She would discuss how her and her brother would open their stocking and then wait until their Grandparents arrived to open presents in the afternoon, that boxing day food was a buffet of curry’s. I would share how Father Christmas went nowhere near our house and would deliver to the Garage at the end of our back garden, my Dad would bring down what he had left (even at a young age I was hyper-vigilant to child protection when it came to strangers) I would then blitz the unwrapping in seconds leaving a floor of discarded wrapping paper behind me like the Tasmanian Devil had popped around for a cuppa. Our Boxing Day was a buffet of ‘picky bits’ and when we shared these stories warmth from both our interpretations of Christmas were at the heart of each tradition.
What doesn’t serve is when everyone in the room dislikes the tradition but does it anyway…the wonderful thing about nurturing a family is building habits that become traditions, but that also have enough flexibility to alter before becoming legacies. As we step into 2023 you’re pretty darn perfect just as you are, you don’t need to do more or less of anything. However, the best habit, tradition and legacy you can leave with the world and into 2023 is to love those you surround yourself with. Remember, those that are hard to love, usually need love the most. Have a wonderful 2023
Firstly, congratulations you’ve made it to 2021! Let’s be honest, it was touch and go…
Now we’ve hit 2021 and the world is crying out for a kinder year and I’m hoping that travel will resume. However, I can’t help but see the usual spiral of diet plans, fitness regimes, goals, coaches, juices, subscriptions being pushed down our throat’s….and that’s great, if that works for you.
However, I just wanted to tap you on the shoulder and remind you that you’re enough just the way you are. Perfectly imperfect.
I personally like to analyse the year and set a few goals, perhaps try something new BUT not by January first. After the year we’ve all expected and the uncertain future that may be ahead, it’s time to slow things down. Take time to reflect, enjoy the process. You may wish to create a mind map or journal on the topic, so unpick the pieces of life’s puzzle that no longer serve you.
In the UK January is cold, grey and not the best time to be motivated. That doesn’t need to be an excuse, so be kind to yourself and make any goals small and achievable based on your circumstances.
New habits take time and so introducing small manageable changes is the best way to optimum success.
Action is needed; so if you aren’t ready to end old patterns that don’t serve you…don’t. Also don’t expect change. I’ve always found best results when I take my time to let go over things that don’t serve me any longer. If you rush the process, you often sabotage the results. An example of this was when I was pregnant and ‘nothing in my wardrobe fitted me’ so I took irrational action and threw away over half of my perfectly good not-pregnant wardrobe. I spent the next three years looking for tops or ‘ that belt’ constantly reminding myself that I’d given it away and it seem cases (basic tops) having to replace them. The same goes for taking on drastic diet plans that leave you malnourished or excessive exercise programmes that give you injuries. Small steps, one at a time…letting go as the quote suggests is a daily practice of moments and blessings, these often lead to more productive changes and take you a little nearer to your happy ever after.
Every now and then I write because I feel like I can’t breathe if I don’t let my fingers dance across the key board. This blog, my corner of the internet is something I’m so proud of. I’ve tinkered with various platforms over the years, but always in collaboration with others. This space is about being authentic to creating my very own brand, and within the words of its contents often lays my soul. This years blog goal came when I was walking the dog, I knew I was getting comfortable and needed to ‘step up’ my energy, the flowing result was my weekend linky with a wonderful blogging friend Hayley. The next step is even bigger and not yet fully defined, but 2018 will sparkle for whatmyfridgesays.
A few months a go, I set a goal – to love my house. It has never been love at first sight, it was more ‘it will do’, it made me sad and I can’t explain why but since moving in here in 2010 its been a struggle. One of the biggest issues that I had was my utter hatred for my kitchen (first world problems perhaps) I love to cook, every Christmas I would be in a space that made me sad and didn’t reflect the joy I poured into my food. I had a vision that I would never cook a Christmas meal in that space again. With a combination of struggle, a blessed cheque from parents, my own savings and squirrelling like a jar of Nutella, I can finally type that we are sooooo nearly there. The tradesmen have taken their tools and dusty boots and despite the fact that every square inch of our home is dusty and in need of a deep clean, my kitchen is shaping up to be just how I imagined it could sparkle. I’m very grateful to family and friends who have helped up to get to this stage, sometimes it takes a tribe to build a home. On a personal note I can honestly say that I’m beginning to see love reflected within the walls of our house, I guess sometimes like human relationships, love is complex. However, I also know that my energy and focus has been directed to this very goal.
I hold another dream for my son. I want to show him as much of the world as possible, to create memories and experiences – not things. Over the next few months we have planned and saved to provide him with some wonderful moments and I can’t wait to stand next to him and see it through his eyes. You don’t get second chances with children, they are only little for such a small amount of time before they fly the nest. I want the reflections of his nest to be full of love, memories and enriching experiences, not ‘should haves and buts’. I’m a true believer that if you can think it you can make it happen, that excuses are convenient diversions and that as I walk into 2018 I feel very accomplished.
Of course, now I fully understand the power of my energy, my thoughts and my flow, the outcome and goals for 2018 promise to be even sparklier, through the last month of 2017 I plan to write in my gratitude diary (as I always do) but I also plan to make the year ahead even better, even sparklier and full of as much laughter as possible. What are your plans for the year ahead?