Tuesday, November 30, 2010

no title

I have to unload some bah-humbug stuff that's been on my mind lately. This is mostly for my own get it out to process it tendency more than anything, so no need to pay close attention. Feel free to pass on by. I'll just be babbling on, probably not even making sense, just need to write it out sometimes, you know?

If you know me or have been following this blog for years past, you know New Years is our thing.
Or perhaps, more accurately, New Years is what we want to be our thing.

I've always really wanted one holiday that was Our Thing.
And obviously, not living near our families, I wanted our thing to be a friend thing.
So many of most of the other holidays are very family oriented, very travel to be with family, very full of family traditions.
New Years Day.... not so much.
So I thought we were safe choosing New Years. Even if people have New Years plans, they're usually on New Year's Eve, right?? And what we wanted to do was start a tradition of a big symbolic dinner with friends on New Years Day to kick off the new year.

We envisioned this one holiday with the tradition of gathering friends. We envisioned this one holiday with the same friends here year after year, seeing kids grow, making memories, feeling like the holiday just wasn't the same without everyone there.We envisioned a standing tradition... that we didn't have to "invite" friends to; one that they just automatically knew they wanted to clear their calendar for, that we automatically knew to expect they would be joining us.

Actually, here's what I wrote about the very first dinner we had, when we lived in Michigan five years ago...
We're having a big New Years dinner party this afternoon with some friends, and I'm so excited! Ryan and had been talking the last couple of years about how we really wanted to have one holiday that was more of a "friend" holiday where every year we gather together and have a big ol' dinner with lots of friends. Since no one ever does much for New Years Day, we thought that would be a good one to pick. So we're trying to start a tradition here. Ultimately I'm thinking it will be so neat to look back years from now and remember who was here with us each year, how the group has changed, how things have changed (including the kids!) and things like that. It'll be nice to have the same "background" for those memories and host a fun dinner every year.

So we've done it every year since. New Years Day and all the fresh starts and good wishes that come along with it; we've been able to have a great celebration with at least a few friends.
We've tried to set up traditions; symbolic menus, the peppermint pig, the group picture, etc. We've tried to have the same friends in attendance year after year.
Granted, moving several times in the last few years doesn't help that effort.
But last year, the fourth year of hosting this dinner, I was finally feeling like we were getting into the groove of things. We were finally getting some of the same friends for a repeat year, rather than just one person here and there carrying over from year to year as was most of the years past. And even some new attendees at the last minute... our favorite way to do things!!

So this year I had high hopes.
I already had been in discussion with some longer distance friends -original MI attendees!- coming, making an 8hr drive to stay with us. Yay! And even though we were moving this year, everyone near and dear from last year talked about how we were just close enough to join us if they wanted to keep up the tradition. Sure it's a little trek... a five hour drive is not next door, but considering Ryan or I made that drive every. single. weekend. for six whole months, I know from experience it's really a pretty easy drive. And luckily other friends are only two hours away. And the best part? New Years Day this year is on a Saturday so everyone would have plenty of time to make it a long weekend.
I was so excited about having so many friends here, everyone here to see where we live and to make new memories and just a great full weekend with a great full house and so much fun and laughter and just being with friends. So we would have to get creative with sleeping arrangements, but really we have enough room here and I was so looking forward to all of that. I was even dreaming up new traditions we could start like a certain game we could always play or a contest, or big adult and kid flag football game or a Wii tournament or something.

But slowly, I'm realizing that's not happening.
It officially looks like there's a good possibility that no one is joining us this year.

Where I once was brainstorming how to house three or more families for a weekend, now I don't think one single person is coming.
Where I was once picturing our tables, overflowing with friends, the kid table bursting at the seams by now, I'm realizing I probably don't even need to order that peppermint pig because surely the four of us won't break it and eat it ourselves.
And I realize that a lot of the ideals were in my head... that really no one ever completely committed to joining us for this holiday. Heck, no one even really seemed to be committed to being there every year when we lived in St Louis and had so many friends close-- it was always hit or miss, so how can I expect them to want to spend New Years weekend down here?

Slowly, as we've been asking for definites of who could be here and who could not... and more and more friends weren't really answering or "weren't sure yet" (when really, in my head I was getting irritated... how can you not know what you're doing for New Years. You either want to make plans or you don't), and then more and more said it just won't work...

Slowly I'm realizing, Hello Heather- no one wants to make the trip down to spend a holiday with you. No one wants to keep coming year after year and make it a priority. No one but you considered it a big tradition, just let it go.

Slowly I've come to realize we're really starting over here.
In every sense.

I know the dinner is no big deal.
I know (hope, anyway) that we'll make new friends here and that eventually we can maybe have that tradition with those friends. It just takes time.

It's just that in the meantime it's really... lonely.
And it's just hitting me that I had counted on the hopes of being with at least a few good friends over the holidays. A last hurrah of sorts I guess, mixing some of the old traditions, trying to make new memories in a new place.
Now that I'm finally realizing that's not happening, it's hard for me to swallow. I am so disappointed it's ridiculous. I have no reason to be upset, but it's honestly something that's been so bumming me out for the past couple of weeks. It's part of the reason I've not been looking forward to the holidays this year.
Aside from Christmas itself, our New Years Dinner is always something I look forward to the most; planning it, having so many different people here, all of us having kids now that are mostly old enough to eat at their own table making their own kid memories together.

I hate the thought of a quiet New Years this year.

I hate the thought that all the effort we've put into the past four years of these celebrations seems for nothing. I hate the thought that it's not just New Years. Sometimes it seems the same for the effort we've put into everything we've left; our home, our friends, our church, our traditions... For what?

I guess I just hate the thought of starting all over.

And I hate the thought of a quiet New Year.


Mom said...

Don't settle for a quiet New Year. You are so creative,make it work. Let's just say the last few years were the warm ups ,and now you can really get to know a family or two in your new neighborhood,or schools.Just have to tweek things a bit!

Nicole said...

AWWW YOU MAKE ME SAD! Talk about guilt me into it HAHAHaha!!! Okay, I'm going to try to iron out logistics of possibly driving down with the two hellions for NYE. :) We could leave Sunday and drive straight through. You can't be lonely for NYE!

Annie Schilperoort Photography said...

I'm sorry for all the changes and "new" things Heather. Just know that all of your effort over the past years are not AT ALL for nothing. You have made great, special memories with good friends and those memories will always be an important part of your & the kids' life. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! ;) You had no idea you would be moving again, you just need to keep using the talents God's given you and blessing people with those special times and "memories" no matter what is down the road. Throwing those parties are part fo YOU!! Whoever you meet in Nashville that will get to be included this year or years to come will be blessed by your hospitality and will be whose meant to be there for that season! Whether it's for one year or five or 20! Love you and praying you will continue to get "caught up" in the wonder and fun of the Christmas season and the New Year.

Annie Schilperoort Photography said...

p/s Can't wait to see and hear about what fun holiday things you're doing! You always inspire me!!

Anonymous said...

I think we are totally in for making it a tradition. I just happen to have my friend's wedding this year. If we are in Kansas we might miss it, but other than that, I think we will be coming regularly. I am bummed we are missing it this year.

Amie R.

K.M.L said...

I am bummed we won't be there either :( It is definitely our tradition with you all too...unfortunately Mike is on call this Jan. If he did get called, a 7 hour drive is a lot different than the 1.5 hour drive to O'Fallon. We miss you 4 tons!!!!! Love ya friend...

About Me

everyday life © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.