January Secret Subject Swap - Embrace the Unknown

Welcome to January's Secret Subject Swap. Again 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  

Sit back, grab a cup and check them all out:

Photo Credit
Baking In A Tornado
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

My subject is 

Embrace the Unknown

It was submitted by Little Piece of Peace thank you, Ceraya!

I think many people are scared by the Unknown - cause they love their familiar environment,  people they trust, routines that work.

There is comfort in the Known.

For many parts of my everyday life I do like to know what expects me:
  • I don't appreciate roads that are closed due to maintenance, forcing me to drive detours "over hedge and ditch"
  • When I go to a store I appreciate my items being stocked at the habitual aisle cause ain't nobody got time for a treasure hunt across the supermarket just because some Marketing executive figured out the frozen section needed to relocate to the back of the store so the chocolates may be closer to the check-out area!?
  • Same goes for airports. Once you figured out where passport controls, bathrooms, ATMs and the like are located they "optimize" the passenger flow and you end up having no clue!
On the other hand, certain routines bore me, and when I can, I try to disrupt them. 

"But we always do X or Y!?" 
"Well, this time we'll do something else!"
Just this Holiday season I got painfully aware of how tradition can feel suffocating to me. We are invited to hubby's relatives' family Christmas party every year on Dec 25. 

It goes down exactly the same way every year. 

The only things that change are the age of the guests and the name of the politicians that get discussed. Everything else? 

Same procedure as every year:
  • Arriving of the family members around 2pm
  • One uncle calling Colin "Kevin" 
  • Coffee and Cookies
  • Conversation, preferably about the olden times
  • Walk to the cemetery - hubby's grandparents aren't there anymore, but sadly both of his parents are
  • Settling back in at the house
  • Handing out of lyrics sheets
  • Carolling by the Christmas tree, pages 1 - 10
  • Dinner: Pork Fillet in puff pastry, salads
  • Hosting uncle trying to pour hubby wine (he doesn't drink. Hasn't been. Ever. Won't start now)
  • Conversation getting louder as wine bottle levels are getting lower
  • Dessert: either Black Forest or Pineapple & Cream pie
  • Departure of the family members with kids and / or dogs around 9:30pm
One year I tried to make a small change. I offered to bring a fillet. I made it a beef one, wrapping it with blue cheese, walnuts, pear slices and dry-cured ham, it looked and smelled delicious. Unfortunately Colin needed a diaper change. By the time we made it back to the table, the whole entire fillet was gone. I got high honors but was stuck with the usual. 

Turbenthal cemetery, Dec 2015

Now I don't want to sound ungrateful. We don't go there for the food, obviously, but the company. It's just that I don't have anything in common with his relatives, especially since I don't work for the airline anymore - an enterprise that everybody knew and related to. Now I'm "hubby's wife and employee (at the office)", "Colin/Kevin's Mom", the one who will solve the Rubik's Cube they messed up during the year, and the one who speaks English. I found out that this was another label I got without my noticing. 

Hubby (second from left) at family gathering, circa 1975?
They had to dress up in garb clothing and perform a song. Naturally he hated it.

Long story short, I dread those events - even though I am allowed to wear jeans as opposed to the costumes above, hahaha. Hubby always points out that it's much better to warp it all into one visit as opposed to go to each party's house individually during the year. Very true. 

Also, so he says, it's only once a year, except somebody is turning 70 or 75. Hahaha, his Mother had three siblings, +/- one year apart.  Two of them married. That makes one birthday invitation per year on average. So it's Christmas and a birthday. Except of course when his Godson celebrates his Graduation, Confirmation or 20th birthday, and so on and so on...

I'll quit whining now.

I like diversity. I like surprises, I like challenges, and I'll take the Unknown over Predictability any day. Here's proof:
  • I took a job and moved to a city where I didn't know a soul (and I just realize I never blogged about it because it happened so long ago)
  • I packed up my things and left my country to try and start a new life in California. 
  • I accepted a job with Starbucks Switzerland & Austria when everything seemed to be falling apart after an investor change
  • I had a baby!!!
  • I decided to work for a charity at the point where 4/5 members were quitting the board
  • I started a blog, heck, I keep signing up for writing challenges like this one!
Of course every new year brings its share of unknown elements, and in my opinion there is no point in fearing them. We've been able to overcome stuff in the previous years, so we'll sure enough tackle the new one!

Here's to a wonderfully surprising and rewarding 2017 - Thank you for being part of my (blogging) journey! 

PS: I'm doing 20 Days of Chill this month, drop in every (week) day and see what we're up to!