Guilderland, NY – Every blackbelt test hosted by Guilderland Martial Arts is attended by my friend Keith. He cooks breakfast for us and our students and teaches us all serious self-defense techniques. We have been friends for a long time and this is one of our traditions. Another one of our traditions is approaching fast; the Winter Carnival at Lake George. We have many traditions together and I realized recently just how important traditions are.
While attending the Chamber of Commerce holiday party I ran into Lowell, the creator of this publication. Later that evening, we found ourselves at Wolff’s in Albany celebrating my brother in-law Brian’s birthday. I love that place, especially during the holiday season. Lowell was telling me how much he loves Wolff’s as well. In fact, he loves to go there with family for breakfast and football (by that I mean the original football which most of us Americans would call soccer). He explained to me that it has become a tradition. At that moment, all the things I call tradition popped into my head and we had a delightful time recalling our traditions over some fine drink and of course peanuts.
Traditions are important to us and I believe necessary for our well-being. We can even expand the meaning of traditions to include those things that we do on a regular basis, particularly those things we do with others. We look forward to them so much, and feel it so badly when, on occasion, they are missed. They bind us into a common thread and deliver tremendous memories that carry us through challenging times. It has definitely become part of my tradition to go to Wolff’s for a birthday celebration and when it is Brian’s birthday I will find Lowell at his side every time.
From picnics in every season to fishing trips to holiday gatherings to a simple weekly special breakfast, traditions can be almost anything. Now when I am together with Keith for any reason and we happen to do something we enjoy together with our families, we look at each other and simultaneously say, “tradition”. From that moment on we try to repeat the event in some form on some regular interval.
As we enter a new year treasure your traditions and look to develop new ones. Our togetherness and our selflessness toward each other is what makes us so strong. My thanks to Keith for helping me have traditions and reminding me how many I already had. My thanks to Lowell for always providing great conversation and sharing his traditions with me. And finally, my best wishes to all for the best new year ever. May 2017 be the year of dreams coming true and traditions continuing to bind us together!