A few years ago one of my closest friends moved away – a plane ride away. And even though we talk and text all the time, and so do our daughters, often it is not enough. In a sense I know we are lucky, always being able to catch a glimpse of each other’s daily happenings on social media. But maintaining tradition when times change is a challenge.
For years my best friend and I often spent holidays together with our families. It was easy, and a given. Now that we live over a thousand miles apart making such plans requires a lot more foresight and effort. So far we have been good about it because we take those extra steps, especially during special occasions like O’s bar mitzvah this past Thanksgiving Day when she was right there next to me during the service and at the reception afterward. I would be there for her, and she knows that, which is what has enabled our friendship to endure for so long.
Next week, in fact, we will see each other again when I fly with my children to where she lives for winter break, only a few weeks after we saw each other last. And then again when she is in New Jersey. Not bad given the miles between us. I am not surprised, however, because this has become our new tradition – seeing each other whenever time allows and whether or not there is a family function like a bar mitzvah or holiday on the calendar. And to what do I attribute the success of our friendship? We are each committed to maintaining our tradition even when situations have changed.
True, my best friend is no longer around the block. True, we cannot meet for lunch or dinner at a moment’s notice or disappear for a few hours on one of our famous shopping trips. But what we can do is enjoy the same pastimes, the same food, and the same celebrations we always have together in a new place, wherever that place may be – my home, her home, or an entirely new destination altogether.
Lifestyles change – for everyone. No one is immune. Whether we switch jobs necessitating a move, marry, divorce, lose our spouse, scale down, or decide that it is time for a change of scenery we are continuously recreating and reinventing ourselves. The question is, how do we maintain the status quo in a manner that suits us best and makes us most comfortable?
The answer lies in our immediate surroundings, even if we find ourselves clear across the world in an environment that is at first unfamiliar to us, a new city or town a plane or long car ride away, or in a different house only minutes away from our old one. The food we eat, the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, the accessories we adorn and furnish our home with, and the fragrances we use in our hair and on our body, each contribute to our mindset and mood. Not to mention the mindset and mood of others when we share these gifts with them.
Even though we might fear change initially or feel uncomfortable in new surroundings or the same surroundings but a new social situation, we can overcome that uneasiness by reconnecting with our favorite traditions, either by subtracting or adding to our surroundings or changing our wardrobe, making the unfamiliar familiar once again.
And that is what I will be doing this coming New Year’s Eve. I will be on a plane, returning home to the new home I moved to this past summer, with all of my comforts, old and new, there to welcome and celebrate my life when I do.
HOW DO YOU EMBRACE CHANGE?
Doni Feinberg Landy, Esq. is a mom, entrepreneur, store owner, lawyer, blogger, talent manager/agent, bag lady, and jewelry junkie.