December 29th, 2013 by Jan

I don’t look like it and it may surprise a lot of people who know me, but I am a deep thinker!

And these days, I have been thinking about the differences between habit, ritual, and tradition.

Deep thoughts.

I think it is easy to poo poo habit and think a habit, good or bad is anything done over and over again without thought. But, to cultivate a habit, or quit one, we need to be very mindful of the practice. So, if I am mindful, does that turn a habit into a ritual? See deep thoughts.

What do you call a decisions as complex or simple as brushing your teeth, playing tai chi, smoking, eating the same breakfast year after year, blowing candles out on a cake, calling your mom every Sunday? When we do something on a conscience level and then practice and let it just become part of us, are these habits, rituals or traditions? Does it matter?

Tradition is most easily defined for me. In my mind, tradition is ritual or habit that happens over time. Something we did last year at this time, and will do it again this year at this time. I think tradition is also something that is shared.

All this thinking brings me to our tradition of choosing a motto for the coming year.

Ken and I have had a motto to guide us every year for a very long time. I don’t exactly know when we started this. I do wish we had taken the effort to write them all down somewhere, so we can look back because as I rely on my memory I only remember a few.

Put the top down.
New Directions.
Full Tilt Boogie.

Last year, I had Panoramic for my motto.

Panoramic was very fitting, as I spent a lot of time this last year in New Mexico attending the churchoftheholysunrise sitting on the edge of a mountain looking out. On the cruise ship to Alaska, on the road trip in the mountains, on the dock of a float house, down at the beach and on our patio, I actually spend a lot of 2013 looking out. Panoramic was satisfying.

So, it is motto time again, and I’ve given a lot of thought to it.

Mottos sets a tone for the why and how we hope our year is filled. Mottos add flavour. I also know you have to be very careful when choosing a motto, because, we pretty much always get what we ask for.

Ken and I are looking for a change in 2014. Changing just enough where everything will be different enough to be fun and new again.
So drum roll – I am practicing the tradition of announcing my motto of 2014.

Together Forward!

Let’s go!

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