Something New – Part 1

“The challenge of the Silver Gate is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them. Many cultures of the world have traditional practices to accomplish this.” Angeles Arrien
I am intrigued by an Ancient European custom cited in this section that is still practiced in some areas of the world. The challenge is to do something never before tried each month. The custom is to do it on one’s birthdate, but I will play fast and loose with that.
* * *
For my first month (December) I understood what I was doing in hindsight.
The back story. We have four grown children. Having been raised in an era and with the ethos that the children went to the parents, we considered Christmas to be akin to running the gauntlet. With some divorced parents and living grandparents, we spent our holiday visiting many homes – trundling children along.
It was not without joy. We each loved our families and wanted our children to be nestled in the arms of extended family. But it was also exhausting to prepare and celebrate a Christmas with young ones while pleasing our parents and grandparents.
And so, when our children had children and began to create a variety of their own traditions we encouraged them to go for it. For a few years we celebrated Christmas all together on any chosen date before Christmas and somehow that evolved into us traveling to see them as individual family. Joint Christmases became less appealing as each family celebrated differently.
Now it is less appealing to travel every Christmas. We love celebrating quietly together in our own home.
Last year we decided to be useful. We served Christmas dinner at a local shelter. Our local kids and grandkids joined us on Christmas day and we were all thrilled by the experience. To feel as if we had made a meaningful contribution was good for all three generations.
This year, after much thrashing about, we decided to forego any travel (our local kids were out of town) and continue our own tradition – serving. The minute we made the firm decision we each sighed in relief and relaxed into enjoying the season.
I suppose to some this would seem a travesty – celebrating a holiday alone when we have a lot of family. But we loved it. We served lunch, came home to delicious split pea soup, and then went to a movie.
I am still not sure how this is reconnecting me to my regenerative forces. I’m not even really sure what that means. But I know that if feels good to make a decision outside my comfort zone that serves me well personally.
The Student

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, The Challenge, The Second Half of Life, The Silver Gate

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