new tradition

It’s already Christmas day 2018, and I haven’t watched The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, or Fiddler on the Roof (those are my favourite movies that I associate with xmas) this year. It’s been bothering me because I like those films, and I like getting into the spirit of the season with them, but there just hasn’t been a good opportunity to watch any of them.

But I’ve been thinking a lot this year about how, often, whatever you are doing at a certain time of year will end up inadvertently becoming your new tradition or a new thing that reminds you of that particular season or memory. For instance, before my drive to work this morning, I had envisioned myself listening to Angelcorpse’s Exterminate album on the short commute. I started the car and began searching through my music for the aforementioned album when I came across The Smiths album, The Queen Is Dead. I hadn’t listened to this latter record in many years and something about it just seemed right for this morning, so I went with that instead. I’ve always liked The Queen is Dead but something about it this morning felt different, more special — I don’t doubt that the ‘special’ ingredient is the fact that today is Christmas and that has me feeling more warm and emotional than usual, but that’s beside the point. The point is that after this experience this morning, there is a good chance that this Smiths record will remind me of xmas from here on out, and that I will tend to listen to it more at this time of year.

Similarly, because I’m working today, Jenn and I did our xmas stuff together last night. When we first set xmas eve aside for exchanging gifts, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea because it simply didn’t feel right — but no time except xmas morning seemed right and that wasn’t available so there was no way around it. But as I got used to the idea, I came to see more value in it and feel better about it. And what do you know, last night ended up being just as nice as any xmas morning.

It just goes to show that even when things don’t go like we’re used to or in ways that we might have initially wished they did, the results can be just as good. You can even end up with new traditions and new things that remind you of a happy time or feeling. So sometimes, it’s for the best to do something new, something different. I’m going to try to remember this and stay open to the unexpected, plan B, etc.

Merry xmas, droogs.

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for a few moments, i found myself wanting kids.

i recently had my dad over to help me with some yard work. he came in afterwards and also gave me a hand when he showed me how to refill the kerosene lamp my mother just gave me. once we were done with the lamp, i put it back on top of the cabinet and marveled at how the old lamp from my mom sat between the metal sculpture my maternal grandmother made in university and the shillelagh that originally belonged to my maternal great, great grandfather.

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this is what a shillelagh is, for all the uneducated clods out there. it’s an old irish walking/fighting stick made from blackthorn. pretty neat.

then i realized that all three of those items were from my mom’s side of the family, and i felt shitty that i didn’t have anything from my dad’s side.

then i remembered that the cabinet that all that crap sits atop was given to me by my dad, and it used to be a part of his father’s house in victoria (back when they built cabinets into houses way back when). i laughed and felt better.

but you know, all that thinking about family and heritage quietly stoked some awful, primordial instinct in me — an instinct to pass this cool shit on to my own progeny…

…TO PROCREATE.

egad.

a day or two later, i woke up with a feeling of longing for my own child. i must have had a dream about it because of how strongly i felt it. you know how the overall vibe of an especially powerful dream can sometimes permeate waking life.

so it’s been weird. i don’t think i’ve ever felt this urge to have kids, and if i have, it certainly hasn’t been this strong. i’m confident it’s just a phase that will pass but it’s still an odd, unsettling thing to feel when i’ve otherwise felt so happy and confident in my choice to lead a childless life.

don’t get any ideas though. i’m not flip flopping here because of a few trinkets in my living room and a dream i don’t even remember having. as soon as i start feeling wistful about kids, i close my eyes and picture myself changing diapers, struggling through sleepless nights, having less time for everything else in life i love, paying $50,000 for my kid to go to rehab at age 28, etc. that works pretty well for quelling any urge to make a little version of jenn and myself.

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oh yes, very cute now. but just you wait…

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…for this. not so cute anymore.