Many years ago I happened upon a documentary that was about Rumspringa. If you are not familiar I suggest checking it out. Basically, it is a season of adolesence in which Amish kids are encouraged to live apart from their community and engage in the “world and its rebellious behaviors” free of judgement. This is a time for them to “sow their wild oats” a “release from their conservative and fundamental rules”. The purpose is then to help them desire and return all prodigal like, yearning after the life they have known in the community. Please don’t regard this as a statment against the Amish traditions. Please don’t educate me about it all. This is just an illustration that came to mind as I was preparing for this Year, as I’ll explain…
So my Christmas just happened and many of the people in my life who knew we were going to attempt to buy nothing new for a year as a family, suggested I go on a big shopping spree. Believe me, they didn’t have to suggest it, I THOUGHT it OFTEN. They suggested I buy a bunch of new things so I wouldn’t need anything. Yep, thought that too. While I joked about it a lot, I didn’t do it. I felt guilty when I informed them of our Year and that if they were getting rid of this or that, think of me. Somehow, I wanted to maintain life as it was. Part of me thought it was working around the whole point of what Nothing New meant.
Today, as I was driving away from dropping Mr. inBetween off at work, I had a few hours alone. I knew I had two gift cards in my pocket. I knew because they were taunting me with their burning and billowing smoke coming from the handmade duct tape wallet where they were tucked. I knew I could go and buy something New. I tripped on that thought a couple of times before I turned left out of the parking lot instead of right, toward Shopping Mall. I knew I could get around the “rules” and that I typically laugh in the face of rules.
Do you see where I am taking you in my thought process? That there are many ways to rebel and “get around the rules”? What exaclty are our rules? I think, as our Year blossoms, they will become clearer. I think that Mr. inBetween and I will have different rules for different reasons. I think our motives are different and may change with each situation presented. I think it will also show that sometimes it is not about a Year of Nothing New, rather something more internal and fiberous. While I am not typically a rule follower and usually make decisions based on intuition and my gut, I did find myself wanting to succeed within the boundaries my heart was already making. Purist-like.
Maybe there needs to be room for a Rumspringa in our Year. A time of new, shrink wrapped gadgets, fresh clothing with a tag, followed by grace and a prodigal like return to buying Nothing New, but its not time yet.