I have been watching a lot of baseball lately.  There is sure to   be withdrawal after the Series is over.  Hopefully there will be parades and the fountains in Kansas City will stay blue for a while.  Then it will be time to start up some new patterns.

Patterns and routines help us to feel comfortable and give life some sense of predictability.  Because there is some similarity between patterns and ruts, a little shake up now and then can be helpful.

Upcoming holidays might be a good place to check out our patterns. Are we looking forward to yearly traditions or beginning to dread them?  If we allow ourselves to think out of the lines, we may be surprised to find other family members who also are willing to try something new.  One year, after our family had moved to a different state, we decided instead of doing the usual Thanksgiving dinner to work at a local food pantry to help put on a community meal.  At first there was some grumbling about why do we have to work? But the day turned out to be a memorable and fun one for us that we repeated again the following year.

Then there was the year that a committee of my children told me that they really liked the stuffing I always made, but they truthfully liked Stove Top better.  And then there was the year that the traditional pumpkin pie maker had to learn that everyone really liked the premade Costco pies just as well.  I have learned to ask, instead of assume, that how we have always done things is what really makes for the best celebration.  Sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn’t.

The one pattern that always serves us well is talking things over beforehand and making sure that the pattern fits our changing circumstances.

(Before I pushed “Send” for this column—we have become World Series Champions!!  Forever Royal)