unTraditional Thoughts

unTraditional Space

Oh no, where am I going to put my Christmas tree this year? This question occurred to me a few days ago, while eating lunch with a friend. I thought about it for a moment, while my friend curiously looked at me. I needed to explain. I told her that our front room, where I normally put the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations had been converted into a dance/work out area when gyms and in-person classes were cancelled at the start of the pandemic. A redecorating decision that did not thrill me. The gym scene is not attractive and it does not feel inviting, but I quickly realized that the guests I would normally entertain, would not be arriving anytime soon. I have come to love the transformed space that is now a musical movement sanctuary where I dance and connect with other dancers around the country and occasionally, the world, through either Zoom or Skype.

Back to my holiday dilemma … where to put the Christmas tree? Either forego the tree (No! Never!) or move the gym equipment and padded floor tiles out of that room and give the tree its space to shine (haha). Neither of those options were appealing to me. I put my thoughts aside and told my friend I would sort it out after Thanksgiving, which is when I normally decorate. It is now after Thanksgiving and I have reached an important life decision (haha); I am leaving our dance/gym area as-is and I am going to fit an unTraditional tree in a small space near the front window. Traditionally, I love to lay under the blinking tree lights that extend to the ceiling while I listen to holiday music and drink a hot tea. The lights and ornaments on my traditional tree light up both my space and my heart. Any other year, this decision would have delivered disappointment, but this is not a normal year and I am not disappointed. I am grateful. Being able to move in my space and connect with other dancers moving in their space, has brought me many gifts since April and I will continue to appreciate and connect with my moving communities. I might not feel like a child when I sit next to a tree that is smaller than me, but I still hope to experience joy and wonder.

Letting Go

Unbelievably, we are approaching the end of 2020. We have checked off many holidays since the pandemic began and each of us, wherever we live, have had to adapt to not only adjusted holidays, but to adjusted every days. We have had to add mask wearing to our daily routine while also letting go of many plans and traditions, and maybe the stress attached to overscheduled schedules too. Letting go of my tradition of dressing up and passing out treats to costume-wearing candy collectors during my Halloween unSeen delivered full moon delights. Letting go of my holiday tradition of decorating and admiring a tall blinking tree in exchange for another type of sacred space is an easy ask. Letting go of traditions and expectations of how things should be has been difficult at times, but overall, I am a lighter and freer version of my pre-pandemic self.

In less than four weeks, during Christmas morning, I will be starting a new holiday tradition: I will be dancing instead of sitting next to a tall tree. I suspect it will be a joyful tradition I will choose to continue. Hopefully, next year my daughter, who will not be traveling in four weeks, can join me in that unTraditional dance, wherever we might be, with or without a tree.

Connecting with those who make me smile is more important than any decorating tradition. πŸ’• This young man does that! My brother’s son, Justin – the one who first gave me the title of Aunt – is in town for a few days. I have missed laughing with him. He is catching up with me in years, but he will always be that boy with the big heart who makes me smile and laugh. πŸ˜„ Be well, Michele

Photo 1: Freebirds along the Gila River, AZ, taken by me Photo 2: Painting (acrylic on wood) of Dancing Lady that hangs in my dancing space, painted by my daughter, Sammi Lee (Christmas gift 2015)

Copyright Β© 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

37 thoughts on “unTraditional Thoughts

  1. kdkinaz

    Thank you, Aunt Michelle. We totally switched gears with a delightful, Mexican, tin, Christmas tree a couple of years back. My mother-in-law remains perplexed.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love being an aunt. πŸ’— I was able to practice with two nephews and a niece before I had my own kiddo. No harm done, at least not permanent. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Love the tin Christmas tree idea. I might have enough room for a plant adorned with some lights. πŸ˜„ Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family!

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    1. Thanks Ben. πŸ™πŸΌ I am happy to share some smiles. πŸ˜€ I am blessed and I do my best to fill my mind and space with positive and creative activities that enhance those blessings. I have been through my share of challenges and adversity that have made me even more appreciative of the sweeter side of life. πŸ₯° Enjoy your day and keep smiling.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, Ben. Sometimes and for some people, challenges can overwhelm, but they can make us more appreciative, having survived them. It is important to support each other, because we never know what another might be going through.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, friend. As always I feel inspired by your words–and your photos. Steve can’t move boxes this year. So I am trying to reconfigure my traditions as well. I love how you did this with such gracious ease. So you! Love your words. Love your presence in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sandra. πŸ₯° Miss you so much! I hope December provides you with many holiday blessings and quality writing time. ✍🏼 Thank you for your thoughtful words. I did have a bit of a melt-down when we “redecorated” our front room, but I moved passed that and now can’t live without that creative and musical space. 🎢 πŸ’—

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  3. This year, because of a new table we got, we also had trouble making room for our tree. I believe we make room for what we need and so we did!

    I love your thoughts on making room for new traditions as we adapt to the times. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Indeed there is nothing traditional about this year, and yet we have discovered so many new ways of being and doing things in our own way. So much Gratitude for all the choices that become available to embrace and enjoy as we let go of so many how-it-should-be-s. I too have found my entire home rearranged to prioritize personal spaces as opposed to for occasional entertaining. Lovely to read your post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like you are adaptable and flexible. Wonderful qualities to have this year! I agree with gratitude for our choices and for the many people who offer those options. I miss my in-person dance classes, but I am so grateful for the teachers who quickly adapted to keep classes going. The many changes have been challenging, but people are resilient. The same is true for the author/teacher I work with; she quickly switched to teaching her writing classes online and we haven’t stopped. Thank you for your thoughtful and supportive comments and for sharing your experiences from this year. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love traditions, Nico, but this year is the year to focus more on people and staying healthy than an attachment to plans and circumstances we cannot control. We just bought a small tree for the space, that is actually a rosemary bush in the shape of a tree. It’s perfect and smells lovely too. 🌲 πŸ˜€ Thank you, yes, our daughter is incredibly talented. πŸ₯° She amazes me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely this year has holding something unique in it. Every festivals we celebrated here wasn’t done the actual way that we always do. But whatever it is, it does put a smile on my face and moreover we got new ways to connect with our loved ones.
    And surely this year will surely left a great story to tell.

    Loved your thoughts too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Most definitely a unique year. It has been amazing seeing festival/event organizers and countless others adapt this year. I am glad you have been able to still enjoy celebrations, even if modified. We still need each other and community, even if behind a mask and socially distant. 😷 Thank goodness for our remote/digital connections too! Thank you for sharing Ritish and for your kind comments. Have a wonderful week! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A great post! Covid has brought many life changes this year, but the good news is we are still here and life is good in spite of it all! I am glad you got to see your nephew who makes you laugh. Be safe and enjoy the blessings of life we have been given.
    dwight

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose dancing is like magic to me. ✨ It definitely transports me to an elevated plane. Thank you for saying and for the lovely wishes. Family (and friend) visits are less this year, but cherished when we get them. πŸ’— Best to you and yours!

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    1. “Getting back to the basics …” So true, thank you. I told a friend just yesterday, that focusing on relationships with uplifting people and staying healthy have been my goals throughout this unsettling year. I hope you are doing well and finding positive ways to manage the stress of 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome and thank you for the well wishes. Yes! I have being doing well! My perspective is not to lose my mind over what I can’t do and keep appreciating what I can do! I think we were spoiled and we still have it better than any third world country. So I appreciate meeting people like you that know the value of love, life and relationships. Those are the things we can control. Weather, disease and death we will continue to be at their mercy, but to live by grace with love will keep us enjoying this one life we have

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  7. Pingback: Dancing and Writing with and through me – My Inspired Life

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