Reality check is my weekly confessional. The good, bad, and ugly will go here so that I can just... be. Be real. Be authentic.
I hope you had a chance to listen in to the very first episode of the 25% Friends Podcast that I am doing with my good friend, Sarah. If not, give it a whirl! The first episode was a simple "get to know us" podcast in which I make good on my promise to share my story. You know, the one you might be judgmental about. It gave me quite a bit of anxiety having to speak it, rather than take the time to write a concise version of my past in edited eloquent detail -- this is my curse as an introvert -- but, alas, I as listen back to it, I definitely give myself way too hard a time about not being able to just say what I'm thinking. In my head it's a big mess, but sometimes, my mouth knows what to do.
It's super bowl week. Not MY super bowl, that is in December. AKA: Christmas. I mean the lesser known National Football League championship game. But, there are more similarities between the two events then you'd think.
Both Christmas (or, if you're not a Christmas celebrator, any winter time holiday including but not limited to New Years) and the super bowl are rooted in tradition. Traditions are passed down from family to family over generations of time, evolving and picking up little nuances along the way. It's how our ancestors have a living legacy and touch us in our lives well after they are gone.
I don't really have any "ancestors" to speak of, and I definitely didn't have firm familial traditions instilled in me as a child. In fact, I believe the reason that I love Christmas so much and cling to it like it's the only event of the year that matters to me is because it's the one time of year from my childhood that I remember consistently celebrating where everyone in my family was happy. And together.
I love togetherness. Even as an introvert, family and being close to a small group of people is deeply meaningful to me. I love to create traditions with small groups. These days, it's more with my married and chosen family.
If you ask me if I consider myself a traditional person, you would hear me immediately rebel into a state where I reject the ideas of others. There is something unappealing about taking part in a tradition simply because that's the way it's always been done. For some reason, that doesn't fly with me. For instance, wearing a veil as a bride. Ew. Not for me. I got married twice and my mind didn't change on that one.
I guess I just don't like the thought of doing something strictly because other people do it. So, I guess I should distinguish between external traditions that are imposed upon me (hate them), and internal traditions that I share in creating (like it a lot).
So back to the super bowl. I'm not a big sports-on-tv person. But, I watch football with G on Sundays especially when Redskins are playing, happily take part in my single slice of Whole Foods pepperoni pizza (positive reinforcement works, people!), and as a logic/rules/data person, the strategy behind plays does interest me. Plus, I like it when G gives me all the gossip details, like the Tom Brady scandal, which player is an alleged virgin, and who went to jail for what offense. Then, it becomes an event that's more like a soap opera that my brain and belly can connect to.
I find myself giving into this tradition even though it doesn't naturally appeal to me. I like it, even though it's not something I came up with on my own and was imposed upon me by an establishment that existed long before my knowledge of it. I enjoy being 'in the know' on something that the vast majority of our society is talking about before/during/after. And because G knows me so well, she knows that we can create our own tradition of super bowl happiness and not only does she get to enjoy her sporting event, but I get to feel like I shared in creating a unique experience for us.
And, just as fittingly, G allows me to have MY super bowl during the months of November and December and gives into all of the traditions I uphold during that time of year, even if it doesn't naturally appeal to her. Like, how decorating means making a huge mess of the house and even includes rearranging furniture to accommodate. To any normal person this seems excessive, but G never complains. We find a way to make all of the traditions work in our house, together, and we make them our own.