I’m a big fan of traditions, and yet I get itchy and bored without change. If that seems contradictory, that’s because it is. Or is it? I’m actually talking about Rituals versus Ruts. I’ve explored this topic a lot, because it fascinates me how much traditions have enriched our family. You could say my writing about traditions has become a ritual! For me, rituals are sacred (not the kind you see on twisted crime shows, the happy version that you celebrate with your kids), and ruts are soul sucking.
I see traditions as rituals to celebrate what makes being a human so soulful. In our family, we celebrate many traditions: crafting, Christmas Eve lights in pajamas, New Year’s Eve bunco, warm/cold game to find Easter baskets, and strawberry picking in Baker, to name a few. We did the last one with my youngest this past weekend, and that will make 22 years in a row with her, as the first time was when she was in my belly. Traditions make us feel safe in a world filled with uncertainty. Traditions are GREAT for kids, as they define your family creed and what makes you special.
A rut is just doing the same thing, because you’re too scared or uninspired to do something new. The trick is to figure out the difference between your rituals and your ruts. That discernment starts with the feeling each of them gives you. Rituals make your heart happy—they make you feel grateful. Ruts make you feel numb and slightly disappointed. They feel like Einstein‘s theory of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.“ A rut makes you feel like you’re less human and more robot. Only you can tell the difference, and it’s a very wise use of your energy to do so.
Start today and define how much of your day is spent in rituals and how much is spent in ruts. You can change the ratio with a little awareness and a little more courage. If you’d like to share your family traditions, drop me a line at email@example.com or leave it in the comments on Facebook.