Over 50s Lifestyle

Finding the positive when Traditions have changed in 2020

May 10, 2020
Finding positives with changing Traditions

On Mother’s Day 2020 , I’ve been reflecting on other traditions and activities that have changed for me during 2020 and the Year of COVID-19. I’ve also realised that whilst I love the comfort of Traditions in my life, the most important things are the love and happiness of family and friends, each day and not on just one particular day.

Mother’s Day 2020

It is a different kind of Mother’s Day in 2020. Usually, it has been a tradition for my daughter, Rachel and I to run together in the Mother’s Day Classic. We run every year to support Cancer research and in memory of my Mum and her Nan, who died from breast cancer in 1986. After the run we usually have breakfast and my son, Nathan joins us. This has been a tradition for several years and last year was extra special as my two grandsons were there to see Mummy and Nan run. It is a special time for Rachel and I to celebrate being Mothers and also honouring and remembering my Mum. There is a Virtual opportunity this year and although it isn’t quite the same, we both ran on Mother’s Day to support Breast Cancer research in Memory of Mum

The positive is: I am surrounded by love and support from my husband, my daughter & SIL, my son and my grandsons. Not just on Mother’s Day but every day.

On Mother’s Day, Mike and I usually spend some of the day with my almost 94 year old MIL. For the last three years we have collected her from her aged care home and taken her for a drive. This year it is different. I could only drop off a gift basket at the door and a phone call on the day.

The positive is that my MIL who turns 94 in June is still healthy, happy and enjoying life.

Making a gift basket for my MIL for Mother’s Day 2020

Finding positives with changing Traditions

Apart from Mother’s Day there are other traditions that I’ve had to let go of and have left me feeling sad and unsettled. Yes, I know that next year we will pick up again but it has been a stressful time for many and traditions help to keep us grounded and feeling comfortable with a sense of belonging.

Birthday cakes

It has been my tradition to make special themed birthday cakes for my grandchildren and I’ve done this for the last 12 years. This year, Ethan my grandson had chosen a Lego Ninja birthday cake for me to make during April. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions I couldn’t make the cake which might not be a big deal to some, but as it is a tradition for me, I felt something was missing.

The positive: Ethan had a fantastic birthday despite isolation and social distancing restrictions. Rachel was able to organise a special day for Ethan despite restrictions. He started the day with a gift hunt from clues Rachel and Ian had left around the house. This was followed by a Zoom call with grandparents, school friends dropping by to sing Happy Birthday at the gate and one of the school Mum’s baking the special Ninja cake for him as a gift. Rachel made sure he didn’t miss out.

Ethan didn’t miss out on his Ninja Cake thanks to a caring friend

Running events

Saturday runs are a tradition I share with my Saturday Sisters. We run and train for events throughout the year but 2020 is different. I’ve not been able to run with my SSs due to social distancing restrictions and the events we had entered have all been cancelled. These running events have become a tradition for us. We train for, enter and complete the runs and then celebrate with a huge breakfast. We look forward to challenging ourselves to run Half or Full Marathons and take part in the Gabba Stomp which means conquering 5,000 stairs.

Finding positives with changing Traditions Saturday Sisters
My Saturday Sisters

The positive is that although we aren’t training together at the moment, we are still motivating each other to keep training on our own. We have also started a 30 day yoga challenge and text each other when we have completed the practise for the day.

There is always a positive side

Okay, so my traditions for this year have had to be modified or put on hold. First world problems in the scheme of things. I have not been affected as much as others during the pandemic and have food, a comfortable home and no financial problems. Whilst traditions are important to me, I also realise from writing this post that there is always a positive to be found.

Have you had to modify or changed your traditions during COVID-19? How has that affected you?

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  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 10, 2020 at 13:21

    Hi, Sue – Congratulations on your run! Surrounding each other with love and support not just on holidays…but EVERYDAY is very wise indeed. If we could all bring this lesson into our post-COVID world, what a wonderful difference that action alone would make.
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 18:07

      Thanks Donna, I was determined to keep our tradition just as I was determined to finish my Course despite CV and the restrictions in place. I agree the world would be a much nicer place if we could bring love and support to our daily lives and those of others. xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au May 10, 2020 at 14:27

    We haven’t been super impacted by COVID-19 either Sue …. except in the area of traditions. Easter was a big one for me because it’s when we have a lengthy visit from family and I just love it – not this year though. I had a little wallow in sadness and then pulled up my big girl pants and got on with things. This year Mothers Day has been quiet too, but it also came with the announcement that they’re lifting the travel restrictions and we’ll be able to visit soon – so there’s always a positive if you look for it. So glad you still got your run in for Mothers Day xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones May 10, 2020 at 14:54

    Congratulations on your run Sue. Circumstances are certainly different this year. Hopefully normal times are coming again soon. Good to hear your MIL is staying safe and well

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 10, 2020 at 15:27

    Well done on your run Sue! I usually run in Canberra on Mother’s Day and have time with my daughter and her family but sadly not this year. The interesting thing is that I probably couldn’t have run even if I wanted to, due to my sore knee – I am finally going to get it looked at! I am having a quiet Mother’s day at home, reading in front of the fire and chatting/messaging my mother and daughters. I love your positive spin on the changes you’ve been going through and hope things will improve soon and you can visit Rachel and the boys and your MIL too. Take care xx

  • Reply Joanne Tracey May 10, 2020 at 16:40

    What I’m finding positive at the moment is how many people are embracing new ideas and different ways of doing things rather than dwelling on what we can’t do. Having said that, I’m certainly looking forward to eating out again soon! Happy Mother’s Day to you my friend.

  • Reply Christina Henry May 10, 2020 at 21:50

    It was lovely to take part in the virtual MDC this year but I’m looking forward to getting out there with the crowd of pink people next year. Might even see you there! It makes you appreciate many things we take for granted

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 11, 2020 at 07:45

      It is a lovely event Christina and very dear to my heart because of Mum. It wasn’t quite the same as you said without the sea of Pink but it was lovely to see so many doing the Virtual event.

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan May 11, 2020 at 12:18

    This time in isolation has given me an opportunity to do some things I have been wanting to do. That is a big plus. But it has been so hard on my mom in her new personal care facility. How is your MIL managing? I guess it helps that she is in the same home where she has been for awhile.

    Glad you could do the Mother’s Day run virtually with Rachel. Enjoyed seeing photos of the your grandsons. Ethan has grown so much! Thankful he had a special birthday cake.

    All in all this six weeks of sheltering in place has a good experience for us. Our cases are still rising so we may have at least another month or two of staying home ahead of us. Hope my house will be all clean by then, and I will have completed the projects I started.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 18, 2020 at 10:30

      Hi Leslie, it is difficult when you have you mum in a new environment. My MIL has been in her home for 3 years so is very comfortable and is coping very well with the isolation restrictions. We have been pretty fortunate in that life hasn’t changed too dramatically for us. I saw my grandsons at the end of last week and that was wonderful. Take care my friend. xx

  • Reply Patricia Doyle May 12, 2020 at 02:38

    Sue, so helpful to think it through this way. To acknowledge what has been lost and to look for the positives. I’m in a similar space of not being very personally affected, but still I feel the loss of many routines and habits. I’m going to start thinking about creating some new activities, because many of the old ways will not be coming back very soon. My in-person yoga classes will be limited to 9 people… when they are usually 20+…. that will just create stress to schedule. My theater going and dining out… probably not going to happen for a long time (post vaccine). So, need to think about new ways of doing things for a bit longer than the end of quarantine…. especially here where we are still having on average 500 new cases a day in our state. Very different than where you are!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 18, 2020 at 10:32

      Hi Pat, I think it is the perfect time to assess what we want to keep moving forward and what we have learned to live without. Life will be different for quite some time to come but your idea of creating new activities is a good start. x

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian May 12, 2020 at 04:50

    Sue, I am very lucky to have my daughter living with me so Mother’s Day was not a casualty of the times. I am glad you had a virtual race in place of your annual tradition, and while not fully satisfying, it had to lift your spirits to have participated.

    I keep trying to get my head around the ‘new normal’ and what that might look like.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 18, 2020 at 10:33

      Hi Suzanne, I was so happy that we could do our Mother’s Day run even though it was different to previous years. There is always a way around a problem isn’t there? I do believe there will be a new normal after this but hopefully one where we are more in control of what we want and don’t want in our lives. Lucky you having your daughter living with you. xx

  • Reply Michele Somerville May 12, 2020 at 10:43

    Love the cake pictures and the post. Being able to rethink, re-frame and re-imainge are certainly important skills for everyone in this time of COVID-19 and I would suggest an aid to mental health.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 18, 2020 at 10:36

      Hi Michele, yes Ethan was very excited to have his Ninja cake! I also agree that being able to rethink our traditions rather than just letting them go has kept a sense of normality in this less than normal time. I could have felt quite negative about it all but putting the focus on the positive has certainly made me appreciate all that I have. xx

  • Reply Erica/Erika May 14, 2020 at 07:58

    You bring up a great point, Sue, how every day should be celebrated. Not just special occasions. It is very special how you and your daughter still honoured your Mum and ran on Mother’s Day. Even though it was done as a Virtual opportunity. I think you had mentioned Ethan turned six. It is wonderful how he will have some special memories of his birthday. Especially surrounded by a great deal of love. xx

  • Reply Christie Hawkes May 14, 2020 at 22:13

    Thank you, Sue, for pointing out the positives of your modified traditions. It reminds me to look for the positives in my own situation. Besides coronavirus, this was my first Mother’s Day without my Mom and the first that my MIL was in her new assisted living facility. That was difficult. The positive: I was able to see two of our children and six of our grandchildren. At both places, we sat outside, so we could spread out, but it was truly lovely to see them. They showered me with love and gifts–many of them handmade. My 14-year-old granddaughter wrote me the sweetest letter, outlining the many reasons she loves me. It was a wonderful day…bittersweet…but lovely just the same.

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