When I was younger, I was so fascinated by fake versions of real things. Fake snow for your Christmas tree? Awesome… because it never melted. A hair clip with a fabric butterfly on it? Indescribably cute, and the critter won’t die. Nylon flowers that won’t wilt? Count me in.
I don’t know when it happened really, but now I appreciate the flip side: I tend to prefer the real, the original.
Maybe it was one too many faux leather purses that cracked, but I slowly began to see that often the original of an item, not its imitation, is more valuable and better quality. Its very essence is much more pleasing and luxurious.
Take those nylon flowers, for instance. I can have a group of plastic buds in a vase. They may need dusting every now and then, so the care is easy and quick. But the flowers are missing the sweet scent, the delicate feel of the petals, and the imperfections that nature makes so lovely. I also have to put more work in maintaining live plants, which creates meaning for me. Work is time, so I choose to invest my time in only the important things.
The older I get, the more I realize we live in a world of counterfeits. And while some counterfeits are harmless and serve a purpose, I need to make sure I don’t just reach for them because they are easy. Like a frozen quick “homemade” meal because I’m too tired to get into cooking.
The bottom line: I want to be aware of possible fakes in my life and limit them. I don’t normally end my blog entries with a quote, but this one sums up my thoughts:
Real is Hope,
Real is Beautiful,
Real is Tough,
But, Real is Rare!
May we treasure the “real” and let it enhance our life this coming new year.
Happy New Year!
I think one of the things that make holidays special are time honored traditions.
In a world that constantly changes, “old” can be so comforting. That ornament that has been on your tree since you were seven. Those tamales for Christmas breakfast that you’ve been eating as far back as you can remember. The silly holiday songs (“Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer”) you started singing when you were in elementary school.
I’m not naive – I know some traditions can feel heavy, not be worth the time, and even bring up terrible memories. Those are not the traditions I’m talking about. I’m talking about traditions or actions that are lovingly repeated each year. Just think of some that you cherish. Live intentionally with me for a minute.
But what if you don’t currently have any? Or any that you truly enjoy?
One thing I love about getting older is creating new traditions. For example, this year I made a point to bake homemade treats, and I’ve resolved to continue to do this at Christmas time each year. I’m making my own tradition, and I look at it as embarking on a journey. I’m already anticipating the creative baking that will take place in years to come. It fills me with hope and another reason to look forward to holidays in the future. In a sense, I’m enjoying something old before it’s even old. Which I realize is slightly ironic.
Whatever your holiday traditions, old or new, I wish you the very best. Thank you for reading my blog and experiencing the holiday season with me.
I’m thankful that I don’t wonder so much what people think of me. And I don’t say this in a way that’s harsh or bitter. I just really don’t care as much as I used to, and that’s huge, especially if you have people pleasing tendencies like myself.
I spent years always wanting to make the best impression and wanting everyone I encountered (including the lady at the grocery check-out) to like me. I’d worry I said or did the wrong thing. I knew in my heart that people were what life was all about – not possessions – but I wrongfully wanted “them” (whoever they are) to like me, and I got much of my self-esteem from interactions.
AND to be honest, I really believed that if I stopped caring about what other people thought of me, I wouldn’t look after myself. I’d let myself go, so to speak, and end up neglecting self-care and not doing some of the things I enjoy – like wearing a pretty headband or making sure I wiped the cat hair off my pants (I can’t help it – I enjoy being tidy.)
Slowly, through the years, the truth began to unfold, as I realized that not only do most people I encounter NOT even remember who I am, they just really don’t care that much. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. They have their own little worlds, and I am a stranger to them, just interacting for a few minutes. My role in their life is more minor, and their role in my life is minor.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t treat everyone with kindness and respect; that’s not to say we shouldn’t hope that even just a few minutes with someone might better their life. That’s not to say that a chance encounter with someone might lead to something more.
But it’s about establishing boundaries for ourselves. It’s about walking in the truth that the world just really doesn’t revolve around us, which is a very good thing! And the best thing of it, (though unfortunately, it took a while for me to learn it): we have the power to decide whose opinion is going to mean something to us.
I like to travel, yet I’ve barely touched the surface of what the world has to offer when it comes to antiquities. And when I do encounter them, I’m just like the rest of the tourists, carefully standing in awe and admiration, soaking in the history. I was recently in Scotland, and the grandeur of the old buildings really made my heart pitter-patter with happiness. Such beauty.
But you know what upsets me? We don’t always value ourselves and our age the same way we do such historical artifacts – be it the ancient pyramids or even great grandma’s string of pearls that are carefully stored away in a sealed box and pulled out for special occasions. Why do we not always take such good care of ourselves? Why do we find it easy to see ourselves as less useful or not as smart because we’ve been around longer than others?
We stand in front of old landmarks, snapping cameras along with the crowd and giving the appropriate “ooh and ahh”, but then get annoyed when we have to admit our age to someone.
Do we at times promote a double standard? I think we do. And we should not.
We carry a composite of our years with us, just like those old buildings dripping in history that we so admire. Only I would argue we are just as amazing, if not more so. We literally add the human element to life. We are treasures too, and we need to live lives that reflect it.
Creator of Love, Auntie.