What do we compromise?

I got a phone call last night from work.  For those who don’t know, my “night” job is as a Licensed Nursing Assistant in a long term facility.  Apparently one of our more rambunctious residents managed to punch another aide in the face, possibly breaking her jaw.  I was asked to cover for her tonight, and I said yes.

This is a compromise on my part, since I am out straight working the next two weeks.  Had I not had yesterday and Monday off, I probably would have said no.  But then it dawned on me, I am compromising other things personal to accomplish what work wants from me.

We normally do not put our Christmas tree up until Christmas Eve.  This tradition goes back to my Grandfather.  It has been this way since I can remember.  It began as something simple….A man with a wife, six children and a father to support.  Tight income caused him to wait until Christmas Eve to purchase the tree at sometimes pennies compared to what they went for the day before.  But it became a family tradition, that lived on in the families of all his children, and most of his grandchildren.  The excitement of putting the tree up, knowing that Santa would be there the very next morning.

Because of my compromise with work, and the fact that I am also working Christmas Eve and Christmas night, we put the tree up today.  I have it all ready for the kids to decorate when they get home from their father’s.  They won’t mind.  They will have fun and be excited.  But I don’t want them to forget that tradition started by my Grandfather.  I have very little to share with them about where they come from, as my grandparent’s passed when I was young, and they never had the honor to meet them.

So next year, I will make sure that I am home for Christmas Eve.  To carry on a simple tradition started by my Grandfather.  Not because it is important to anyone outside my family, but because it is important to me, and for my children.  When we compromise what we seem to see as simple, unimportant things we are more likely to compromise on bigger things.  Things that really matter.  And I don’t want to settle in this life.  I have an amazing family, and I want to be here to share that with them.

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