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Ritualistic Mornings


It's a damp and foggy morning as I write. It's very fall-like; my son is off to school, my day looms ahead, my legs are sore from a different workout at the gym yesterday. And I was off to Starbucks as usual, happy, but in need of caffeine.

When I drove through the line, I was greeted with the image of a steaming mug of Pumpkin-Spice Latte accompanied by the words, "Take comfort in rituals." While I love damp, foggy, fall mornings; I instantly felt happier and warmer and cozier. Because ... there is nothing I love more than rituals ... or traditions.

My son, raised by this mother, has been over instilled with that value. He has traditions for everything; s'mores, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, books ... and the list goes on. Often I hear the words, "But that's my tradition, Mom." I smile and know that not only does he value tradition; he is also "working" his Mom.

Some feel confined by tradition and reject them completely. Some unknowingly establish new traditions and rituals by virtue of rejecting the old. In that way and in my view, everyone has traditions ... rituals. It's human nature. Starbucks wouldn't have footed the marketing bill for the Pumpkin Spice Latte if they also didn't believe that everyone, everyone has traditions.

What makes you special, are your traditions. Have you ever taken a moment to think about what they are ... the simple and the elaborate? Do you have a morning ritual, I'm sure that Starbucks hopes you do! Holiday traditions, seasonal traditions, weekly traditions? Celebrate them as you think about what makes you ... you.

One of the things I love about my neighborhood is the celebration of various and differing national traditions ... and those that we've created on our own like summer block parties, morning walks to school, and the like.

Take Christmas, for instance. Nothing is more "ritualistic" than Christmas. A Rasmussen Poll taken last December shows that 66% of us believe Christmas to be a religious holiday with an additional 20% of us celebrating it as a secular holiday. That's a lot of tradition -- 86%. I would argue that the number of those celebrating Christmas is actually higher. I can't believe that anyone couldn't celebrate Christmas!

Side note: Does Christmas make us "jolly?" According to another Rasmussen Report, "African-Americans (63%) are cheerier about the season than whites (52%). Republicans (62%) are happier about the holidays than Democrats (50%)." Sorry ... off topic. But really, a lot more of us would be happier if we could forget about ourselves, our stresses, our commitments and spend a lot more time concentrating on those around us, celebrate our meaningful traditions, and let the rest ... slide.

The sun is now breaking through and evaporating the wispy fog. A gorgeous morning awaits ... full of my Friday traditions ... shopping (smile).

Have fun with your traditions, take Comfort in Your Rituals, and have a great weekend!

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