Sunday, January 17, 2010

Out with the with the New!

Once again, there has been "blog silence" here. But not for lack of content: I've just been going through a lot, and it's been a little overwhelming.

December is a rough month for me.  And (as my colleague said to me) even though I can see the train wreck coming down the tracks, I feel powerless to stop it.

Let me start by saying: The commercialism behind holiday shopping is getting more and more depressing for me each year.  Could it be because I've outgrown it?  I yearn for deeper spiritual focus during the year's end, and it can tend to get lost in the blaring commercials on TV or the event invitations which fill up calendars quicker than sand flowing through an hour glass.  Spending so many years in Japan didn't help either: we don't have years of family heirloom ornaments to put on our tree (not that I want them) and I haven't built many family traditions around the holidays either.  Also, being a more eco-friendly family, lots of the American ways to celebrate the holidays seem ecologically unjust: chopping down trees, increasing your electricity usage for lawn displays, purchasing wrapping paper that will end up in the trash (or, perhaps, the recycling bin). The list goes on and on. I'd like to be more festive and I love the "goodwill towards men" attitude around Christmas time.

However, December is also the month of my birthday.  About ten years ago, I realized that I get pretty emotional around my birthday because, as an adoptee, what does my birthday really celebrate?  While for some, it's an accomplishment of another year of life, my birthday is tainted because it marks for me the day of separation from a biological family that I've never known.  So many questions run through my mind: Will I ever be reunited with them?  Am I at peace if I never get to meet them?

I try not to be so negative and depressing around my birthday.  After all, I'm a grown woman and know the reasons why I might feel sad, so that's more than half of the psychological battle, right?

That's why I appreciate New Year's so much.  I think that I learned it when I lived in Japan.  The Japanese have a superficial sense of Christmas: you'll see signs of Christmas in the department stores and in the bakeries.  But the real holiday is New Year's.  The preparation before this holiday is cleaning and cooking to get rid of the old and start the New Year afresh. Then you have three days off to do nothing but relax with family, watch kooky New Year's TV shows and eat all of the cold food you prepared the week before.

So now that it's January, I say "Happy New Year" and let the new beginnings start! And to celebrate the New Year, I've chosen a new title and focus for my blog: Adoption Fusion - discovering where adoption, race and culture blend together.  Enjoy!

No comments: