The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Most of the time, it’s true, you can’t choose your family, with the exception, perhaps, of who you marry.

It’s also true that families are the source of our best and our worst. They can be unendingly supportive, or they can be clueless about what it is you’ve chosen to do as your life’s work. (Sometimes, they do both of these at once!)

They give us what we’re most proud of (my parents adopted ten kids) and what causes us the most anguish (never mind, it’s still pretty raw, but suffice it to say that one of my parents is involved here, too.)

The family gives us our first taste of humanity, and it shapes how we will interact with people for the rest of our lives. Whatever background we came out of, we always have the choice to live in the present.

We can choose to be uplifted and strengthened by our family experiences, or bogged down by them.

We can choose to grow beyond what our families have always been like, or we can remain rooted in tradition for tradition’s sake.

As for me, I think there’s something to be said for striking a balance between these paths. I think that children should be raised to outgrow their parents (without discarding them). I think we should have some family traditions that pass from generation to generation purely because they came from the generations before (lots of these center around holidays). I think we should stay aware of where we came from and what shaped us; after all, without those factors, we would not have become who we are. But I think that, once we’ve considered these things, especially if they’re challenging, we should explore how we can use them to help us grow or move forward rather than as excuses for avoiding issues.

Families are dynamic, too. Just when I think I’ve got my bearings and everything sorted out so I can really get down to the business of life, something happens and I get knocked back a few paces and I’m left trying to catch my breath and make up a bit of lost ground.

It’s usually not lost ground, though. It’s just something that needed revisiting because I hadn’t dealt completely with it before, or it’s something I needed to be reminded of because I’d learned it but had stopped practicing what I know.

I’m thankful for my family, in all it’s complexity.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family and Friends

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: