The Trekker’s enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my family in Indiana, this year. We ate LARGE amounts of DELICIOUS food, spent time with numerous family members (some who we haven’t seen in quite some time), there were even a few surprise guests! I find I always wax pensive this time of year. The affliction was especially true this year as it will likely be our last, midwestern Christmas (see “changes in 2019” below).
As an adult, the holidays always seem a little weird, especially when you move far away and only return occasionally. They say you “can’t go back again” and in many ways this is true. The experience is never quite the same as the rose-colored memories you have from childhood. You watch, once vibrant, grandparents age, slow, and eventually, one year, become only a memory…relatives or childhood friends you were once almost inseparable from, you may now find you have little to discuss with outside the updates you’re already aware of from Facebook. While some family members are lost, new ones are added (both through marriage and birth). While these are, certainly, blessings, the additional people–and their responsibilities to their own families–create complexities of their own.
Traditions change. What used to be a gathering at grandma’s house, of what seemed like 100 people (when you were 10), is now a smaller group sitting around another table, or even gathering at a restaurant where you can pay a stranger to cook for you and clean up afterwards! 😉 Your concept of family may change. It’s no longer just about blood-relations (especially as various in-laws or step-family members are added). Not everyone was blessed with a close-knit, loving family. Others may have no close family left, or those that remain may live too far away to visit with every holiday. For many, friends make a wonderful, adoptive family (at the risk of channeling Vin Diesel 😝).
Don’t misunderstand me, none of these things is “bad”, per se. There’s always a sense of loss, of course, of family members, and “the old ways”. One of the only real guarantees we have in life is that things WILL change. This can be a good thing, though. We can store up wonderful memories of bygone days, continue some old traditions from times past, while seeking to embrace new practices that will carry with them wonderful memories of their own.
I always feel a little melancholy on New Year’s Eve. I don’t like endings, or goodbyes. They feel drug out, like we’re forcing something that should be left to rest in peace. I feel this way about most endings, whether that be of the calendar year, a birth year, etc. I find myself impatient to move on to the adventure that lies ahead. New Year’s Day on the other hand, I love! I LOVE new beginnings, new journeys, that “new car smell” the new year brings! 😉 New years, new birthdays, they’re all ripe with potential for us to turn a new leaf, to move away from bad habits, to improve ourselves and our relationships! They’re so exciting!
2018 was a big year for me. We were finally able to pay off some long-term debt. The release from that responsibility (and an incredibly supportive spouse) allowed me to leave the daily grind of a full-time job behind and pursue my dream of freelance writing. It’s been a slow, difficult–sometimes terrifying–process, carving a niche for myself out of the hard rock of the “solopreneur” world. The freedom and flexibility that lifestyle affords, though, will–hopefully–make the struggle worth it.
I’m hopeful for the changes 2019 will bring. I have some goals regarding growing my freelance work, and continuing to strive for a more mindful, peaceful lifestyle. The Trekkers are on a mission to eat more healthily this year (stay tuned for excerpts regarding our attempt at a low-carb life). 🤭 The Trekker Parental Units are on track to move to South Dakota sometime in Fall 2019, hence why this year was likely my last Indiana Christmas (Black Hills residents, you’ve been warned.). 😉 Hopefully, there will even be a surprise or two in store for faithful fans of the Tranquil Trekker!
Thank you all for embarking on this journey with me, I’m excited to see what the new year brings! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and the Trekkers wish you blessings for a happy and healthy 2019!