A Year of Abstaining from Holidays: Father’s Day

Father’s Day has never been a holiday that my father was all too picky about. My sister and I would always ask him what he would like to do on Father’s Day and he would always reply with, “nothing.” I still would do things for him, like help clean around the house or cook dinner, but it was never really all that important to him. This year as I am not celebrating holidays it was relatively easy to not go through with Father’s Day and my father was completely fine with it. None the less, I wanted to understand why and how Father’s Day became a holiday after learning so much about Mother’s Day. (Read Mother’s Day Blog Post Here)

It was on July 5, 1908, when a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers. A Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died fathers-dayin the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration. The next year, a Washington, woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. Slowly, the holiday spread. (history.com)

Today, the day honoring fathers is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June. (history.com)

Since then there has been plenty of controversy over the holiday itself. In fact, during the 1920’s, there was a movement to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day all together and create Parents’ Day. Unfortunately The Great Depression stopped this movement from continuing, as marketers needed the holiday to keep their businesses afloat. (history.com)

And just like that, Father’s Day had become just as commercialized as Mother’s Day. I do enjoy taking a day to honor and spend time with my parents but each time this happens, I feel as though I don’t do it enough on any ordinary day. It is also a fact that not everyone has a mom, or a dad, or a parent. I feel as though the commercialization isn’t needed to have a good Mother’s Day or Father’s Day; nor is it needed to buy extravagant dinners or presents. Take the day to thank whoever it was that raised you and make it a day of family.

If you would like to know more about why I am taking a year abstaining from holidays, please follow the link here.

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when no one knows you

When no one knows you…

That’s addicting.

It’s like the first taste of chocolate

Or the first caffeine rush of a cup of coffee.

 

When no one knows you

You are the purest form of yourself.

Nothing can touch you,

You have nothing to lose.

You can be who it is you want to be.

 

No past memories are tarnishing your image.

No regrets are holding you back.

 

Being somewhere no one knows you

Brings you a sort of confidence

That lets you shine beyond the stars.

 

I feel solace in a place where no one knows me.

Where everyone is a stranger.

Because even sometimes I feel my friends don’t know me,

As people who don’t know me do.

 

I wish I could forever rest in a place

Where no one knows my face,

No one knows my name.

Swifting along the earth,

Leaving no footprints,

And taking my leave peacefully.

the people i hate

The people I hate are the images of my past self.

 

They say that the what you see in others

Is a reflection of yourself.

And so I wondered why I hated when people would act a certain way,

Say something I didn’t like…

And so on.

 

Surley it would not be a reflection of myself

Because I wouldn’t act in a way I hated.

Or maybe….

It was my past self I was seeing.

 

The regrets that clog my mind before I sleep.

The random moments I cringe by remembering something silly I did.

 

The people I hate are the images of my past self.

And the only way to forgive them,

Is to forgive myself.

 

set free

If a home can’t hold me

And a man can’t keep me,

Then set me free.

 

Let my passions move me

Along my journey.

 

Let me fall in love with myself

And nest my home in my heart.

 

If a home can’t hold me

And a man can’t keep me

Then set me free and call me wild.

 

Because the road is my only solace

And “The Stranger” is my name.

people hate me

People hate me.

Or at least I think they do.

Whether it was a disagreement,

Or a time I stood up for what I thought was right.

Sometimes I know I did wrong,

And never took the time for an apology.

People hate me,

And somehow that is more humbling than selflessness.

I feel guilt along with the utter awareness of my mistake.

People hate me

And because of this,

I refuse to hate people.

messy

I want to be messy again.

To the time when life was a bit chaotic

Yet seemed to make sense.

 

I want to leave my bed sheets ruffled in the morning

And collapse back into them in the evening.

I want to drink lots of coffee

And spill it on my pile of nonsensical papers.

I don’t want to have a to-do list

And things to check off during the day.

 

I want to be messy again,

Like a child with no worries.

Nothing to gain and nothing to lose.

 

I want to walk around barefoot without a care in the world,

And I want my feet to get dirty as I go.

I want my brain to be scrambled with thoughts

So the bad ones go away.

I want to stay up late and wake up late too,

As if I have nowhere to be.

 

I want to be messy again.

To the time when life was a bit chaotic

Yet seemed to make sense.

loss for words

Forgive me but I’ve been at a loss for words.

I’ve traveled around the world thus far

And I’ve discovered things about myself

That the girl at home would never understand.

 

I’ve made a name for myself in some places that I want people to forget,

And I’ve been praised of my name in some places I want to go back to.

 

I currently live in limbo as I swing from one home to the other,

Always recognized in a different color, no matter where I go.

 

You see, authenticity has been hard for me and I’m sorry to say

That I’ve lied before.

I’m sure I misspoke my name many a-times.

Because I’m still trying to find my place.

The place where I step onto the ground

and where I can say that I’ve made it my home without the birth-rights.

 

For now my only constant remains on the road and I may have a gypsy soul

But I’m a poet at a loss for words trying to find her way home.

 

i will hide

And when the light slightly brushes along my cheek,

Just enough to miss my eyes,

I will hide.

 

When the world doesn’t seem to accept

The changes I want to make,

I will hide.

 

I will hide in my little nook

Where a cat, some coffee, and books keep me safe.

Where I am sheltered from the hate

And the people I don’t want to see.

Where judgement cannot reach me

And I can have room to grow.

I will hide.

 

When the eyes on me grow too harsh

And the road home seems to be lost

I will hide.

 

I should only be careful that my nook

Doesn’t swallow me whole

And the world doesn’t crush me under its thumb.

I will hide.

dear summer…

Dear Summer,

Long time no see! Although it’s never a secret when you show up. One day it’s suddenly 80 degrees and your sun is shining in the bright blue, cloudless sky. As soon as your energy bursts through the atmosphere, the world changes. The days become longer and the nights get hotter. In these short months, you give us, this is when memories are made. Your extroverted personality brings out the adventure in me. As soon as I feel the hot sun beating down on me I want to run with the winds of change and explore the unexplored.

This is the time when the earth is suddenly more populated and people are smiling. My footsteps become a little lighter and my spirit flys a little higher. I wait for you all year long just to make these memories with you, and just as my high comes when you arrive the crash is just as hard when the leaves start to fall.

Hello Summer, let’s go make some memories.

 

A Year Abstaining from Holidays: Mother’s Day

A year abstaining from holidays does include all holidays, that means Hallmark Holidays as well, and that includes Mother’s Day. This is where abstaining from holidays can become very difficult and emotional. But, before we get into that, let’s look into the history and creation of Mother’s Day.

mothers-dayCelebrations of Mother’s Day isn’t just a Hallmark Holiday, believe it or not. “It can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as ‘Mothering Sunday‘. Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service. Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.” (History.com)

In America, Mother’s Day celebrations can also date back the 19th Century before the mothers-dayCivil War when Anne Reeves Jarvis in West Virginia started a collection of “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” which taught local women how to raise children. Eventually, this club was seen as a unifying force during the Civil War when Jarvis began “Mother’s Friendship Day” when mothers would gather with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation. Another precursor to Mother’s Day was former abolitionist suffragette Julia Ward Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870 as a call to action to mother’s to unite for world peace. In 1873 Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2. Other early Mother’s Day pioneers include Juliet Calhoun Blakely, a temperance activist who inspired a local Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan, in the 1870s. The duo of Mary Towles Sasseen and Frank Hering, meanwhile, both worked to organize a Mothers’ Day in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (History.com)

The official Mother’s Day holiday came to be in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. After her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. In 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Since then, Mother’s Day has unfortunately become overtly commercialized which was actually the exact opposite of what Jarvis wanted. She even protested against the commercialization of her holiday when originally she wanted it to be a personal recognition of mothers in the United States. (History.com)

For me, Mother’s Day has always been difficult. My parents are divorced and I live with my father. I visit my mother on occasion as she suffers from mental illnesses. Some mothers-dayMother’s Days weren’t celebrated at all, others were full of heartache because my mother and I couldn’t get along. Telling my mother I was spending a year not celebrating holidays was extremely difficult for her. She has spent some holidays alone… and this is also the reason I want to remove myself from this holiday stigma. Holidays can be a wonderful time for families to come together, but it also leaves others who cannot always see their families in pits of sadness, feeling empty inside because another day passed by spent alone, the only difference is it had a special name. I want to erase that stigma for myself and take the time to do what I feel is right for me on a day which has a name that is celebrated so much, and figure out if it is significant to me.

This Mother’s Day I did spend time with my mother. Instead of buying her a gift or taking her out to dinner. We sat and had a nice conversation over coffee and I left after telling her, “You really are a great mom.” And that is how I think a Mother’s Day should be spent.

To read on why I’m abstaining from holidays for a year, please follow this link.

And to read on my advice for telling family members and friends, please follow this link.