The first year that you do an event or activity, even if it something that you want to do every year, you can describe that as a ritual or an annual event. It’s not until you have done it for at least two years or more that you can start to define something as a habitual observance. My personality style does not always engage with the conventional. As a young boy, I remember the value I used to place in doing something different. I would frequently make choices because I wanted to be different than everybody else.
Even now, I like to change things up in my life and “salir de la rutina.” New projects, activities, people that we know can be invigorating and feel very engaging. While that is true in my life, I (and I would argue that people in general) need to have consistencies as well. In my professional life, in talking to teachers and parents, I frequently discuss the importance of ritual and consistency. I see it in my family as well. Not only is it essential in managing the conflict that comes up (five kids, there is bound to be a lot of strife from time to time), but we have also made some of our traditions. We might change the location or activities, but there are some routines we have fallen into every year. I’m just getting back from one of my favorites (although I wrote most of this post while watching the fire die in Pacific City, I’m not finishing it up until we have been back home in the Tri-Cities). Growing together as a family is a great place that we can make traditions and rituals—the last couple of years, we have made it to the ocean at least once each year.
We stayed in a pretty decent VRBO, although they lack in amenities (who doesn’t even have salt/pepper or other basics.. as well there was some general disrepair in the home). We are just outside of Pacific City. I’m not sure if I am getting older, but I have some significant longing for the warmer oceans in Mexico and other more tropical habitats. I know as a youth loved being in any sea. I could spend all day, and I don’t think I ever thought it was cold. This year, I waded in to be close to the kids that I could go after them if needed, but the idea of swimming around in the cold water was more than I could bear. Maybe just need a wet suit.
We made the reservation for the trip back in February. It was before we had any idea what has happened with COVID-19. We tried to stay as safe as possible, using masks when around other people. We did end up at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area and hung out at the Pacific City Beach, but spent most of our beach-going time in the almost private beach in front of our home. We also went to a restaurant for the first time since the quarantine started. We worked up an appetite climbing the giant dune and looking at the breathtaking views of the ocean against rock. We ate pizza at Doryland Pizza.
I would encourage people to find things that they can make as routines in their lives as their family. You can seem photos in Flickr 2020 Family Trip to Pacific City OR.