As I write this post, watching my fat tabby cat Jack eat what I’m pretty sure is his third breakfast, I’m contemplating all things holidays (while wearing a pick Sigma Kappa shirt of course). Last week was all about the last minute grocery list for the Thanksgiving feast I cooked, the list of even more last minute cleaning I needed to do before my parents and grandmother arrived from Pittsburgh to celebrate the first holiday in our new house, how my husband’s plan to sleep until noon affected my cleaning schedule (which of course became his cleaning schedule when I left for my pre-holiday massage). You know, all that important stuff.
Now I’m thinking about Christmas – How will the tree look in the new house? Will we hang twinkle lights from the gutters like I’ve always wanted to? How exactly does one hang twinkle lights from one’s gutters? How much does a trip to urgent care cost when one falls off the roof while hanging twinkle lights?
It’s funny where our minds go during the holidays, isn’t it? Between the shopping, parties, shopping, food, shopping (you get the picture), it’s so easy to lose sight of what the holidays are about. I think that’s especially true for us overachievers who want everything to be perfect and everyone to be happy. Regardless of what you believe or where you come from, the holidays should be about family and community, right? I’ve lived in five different states since I graduated from college, and Christmas was always the one time it was understood I would be home.
For many of those years that trip home also included a get together with my best friends from Sigma Kappa. We would meet at someone’s house and have cookies and drinks, just catching up, introducing our spouses and boyfriends, reliving our college days and sharing new parts of our lives. We haven’t been able to get together as much in the last few years as babies have been born and people have moved away, but those women are always in my heart at the holidays when I can’t be with them.
I’m lucky to be blessed with a wonderful extended family but also with my Sigma Kappa family as well, a family that lets me be who I am but always manages to help me become a better woman at the same time. Last post I mentioned my awesome bid day shirt (we called it pick-up day at the time), and the theme of that shirt is just as appropriate to the theme of this post as any other shirt I have.
I went to college outside of Pittsburgh in the mid-90s, and if you were anywhere near that area as well, that means one thing marked your college years – Rusted Root. For those of you not familiar, do a search for this Pittsburgh-based jam band. No matter how hard I tried to escape Rusted Root during my first semester of college (and trust me, I tried, repeatedly), I just couldn’t get away from that “Send Me on My Way” song. You probably heard it in the movies Ice Age or Matilda (or a recent Enterprise car rental commercial) and thought it was cute, but imagine a group of campus orientation leaders chasing you around for a week with that song and see how you feel about it.
Anyway, because my college was private, we recruited in the Spring. For a variety of reasons, mostly shyness, I chickened out of the first night of recruitment and missed the whole thing, even though I knew I wanted to be a part of a sorority. I remember being so sad when pick-up day rolled around and many of the women on my hall were sporting new letters, having their doors decorated, and just seeming really happy. My RA, Kate, was a Sigma Kappa and knew why I didn’t go through recruitment. That year, Sigma Kappa was “snap bidding” women. Within 24 hours, I had a bid, new letters of my own, and a decorated door. I had sisters, and I felt wanted.
I also had the best Sigma Kappa shirt I’ve ever owned, even if it did have Rusted Root lyrics on it. The shirt read “Yesterday I was lost in a crowd, I was lost, lost, lost” on the front. On the back was a giant orange sun with Sigma Kappa letters in the middle and the words “Now I’m Found.” And those words have been true ever since.
At this holiday season, think about your family and community while you are going through the motions of the commotion. How can we share our Sigma Kappa love and values with others this time of year and help them realize they are found too?
This post was written by Rebecca Pope-Ruark. Contact Rebecca at email@example.com
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