I’m the type of person who picks up lost pennies off the street. No, that’s not right. I’m not the type, I am that person. This is not some slow growth wealth accumulation strategy, rather, I cling to a childhood superstition. Finding a penny brings good luck! So, why on earth would I leave a lucky penny stranded on the sidewalk?
“Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck.”
Another confession: I’m more than strangely excited to be going solo for the holidays. If you’re shaking your head, let me explain before you give yourself WTW whiplash.
Spending the holidays alone has been a big, I mean massive, irrational fear of mine. When my ex-husband and I were splitting up, almost the first thing I did after contacting my broker (hello! money fears!) was make plans for the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas). I couldn’t bear saying “I don’t know” or “I’ll be alone” if someone asked what I was doing. Silly, perhaps, but my silly fear mindset reality.
Then 2020 hit. Smacking me in the face with my biggest fears: paid speaking gigs completely evaporated in the first half of the year (hello! money fears again!) and as the pandemic keeps pandemic’ing, the fear of spending the holidays alone…
Instead of running from these fears, I’ve been running to them this year. Banishing them from my brain space. If these fear continue to clutter the corners of my imagination what chance do I have of creating new traditions, or more imaginative decisions?
As 2020 winds down, I’m quite thankful for this time alone with my fears, seeing them for what they are (irrational, silly creatures handed to me at another time, when I was a different person), thankful for an unexpected pause in my frantic pace of the past few years (on my! how much of that was fueled by a fear of failure!) and thankful for the 2 pennies I found this morning on my walk.
Traditions are in the cross-wire this week as we’re urged not to travel home for the holidays, to keep the holidays small.
Traditions are hard to let go of. Like heirlooms. I refer to these as the “burden of inheritance” – the ugly dresser you keep because it belonged to a great aunt, or the recipe that CANNOT be changed because so and so used to always serve it this time of year.
Examine the ideas, notions, traditions you’ve inherited, question them, then reshape them into something that works for you. Give traditions reverence because you’ve determined they matter to you, don’t cling to them under someone else’s banner.
Ditch someone’s script and write your own.
And suggested reading, Priya Parker’s latest opinion piece for The New York Times.