Hello, lovely readers!
On Saturday, I went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and it was so fun! The last parade I went to was in 2019! So crazy.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade holds a special place in my heart because for so many years it has marked the beginning of the Meek version of March Madness. Historically, our family has a ton of March traditions.
Over the years, we’ve been heavily involved in both the distance running and Irish dance communities. March is traditionally filled with back-to-track events and Irish dance performances. The pandemic changed some of that, but even last year, we had virtual performances and meets to attend.
As a child, the most we really did for St. Patrick’s day was dressing up in as much green we could find. Occasionally, we might also have some sort of green colored food to celebrate, but we never really did the whole corned beef and cabbage thing. Interesting since my dad’s side of the family is pretty heavily Irish American.
Since getting my girls into Irish dance 13 years ago, we’ve fully embraced all things Irish. All the dance things, corned beef and cabbage is a favorite meal, and I even make Irish soda bread on St. Patrick’s day. We enjoy shamrock shakes and Reubens. We’ve embraced this portion of our heritage wholeheartedly.
It got me thinking about how traditions become traditions.
I’ve mentioned before about how it’s good and healthy to take traditions that we’ve grown up with and make them our own, even if that means changing them to suit our current situation. And how it’s also good and healthy to let go of traditions and routines that are no longer serving us. And sometimes we find a tradition that speaks to our hearts (or our tastebuds) that we long to embrace.
- When we choose to keep a tradition that’s been part of our family for years, perhaps even generations, we honor the memories and legacies of those who came before us.
- When we choose to adopt a tradition that we didn’t grow up with, we honor the culture or community that birthed the tradition.
- When we choose to let go of a tradition that no longer serves us or our families, we honor ourselves and the legacy we are leaving.
I love how traditions are melded and woven into the fabric of our lives.
Celebrating traditions, honoring loved ones, and living our own legacy doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes, it’s as simple as peanut butter, maple syrup, and French Toast.
My family doesn’t eat French Toast very often, but I have a very special tradition when we do. I will take a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter, drizzle maple syrup over it, and mix it all together, then spread the mixture on the French toast. For me, it’s really the only way.
My children also love to eat French Toast this way. It’s become a family favorite.
What I love about this tradition though, isn’t how good it tastes, even though it’s definitely a benefit. I love the feeling of honoring the person I learned this tradition from– my step-dad. I love the way it makes me feel connected to him and his side of our blended family, regardless of who our DNA says we belong to. And I love the thought that I’ve passed this part of my childhood–my own history–on to my children.
I absolutely love how we can honor others through our own cultivation of which traditions we choose to keep.
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