The just-ended holiday season is often centered on family, relatives, and close friends. That can be the highlight of this time of year, or, it can be stressful, even something you take steps to avoid. Family can be complicated. There is a lifetime of history, memories, good times, and bad.
As we put last year away, at least mentally, it might be interesting, helpful, and even cathartic to learn that their relationship struggles and dynamics are not unique. We have all watched enough Christmas movies to know everything isn't always sugar cookies and smiles.
Let me pose a couple of open-ended questions for you to ponder. Think about all the bits and pieces that have built the entity you call family. How does what happened in the past, what is going on now, and what you think the future will be with those people?
If you feel like sharing, please do in the comments section. As I noted, many of us have issues that sometimes feel like a boulder in our path. If you have an experience or vivid story to share but would rather not use your name, that is completely understandable. Click "anonymous" and leave your memory.
Others have a relationship with family members that could make a Hallmark movie. They are your biggest fans and your major support group. The time you spend with them is precious and important. A strong, positive family is the key to who you are.
Ready? Let's start with a biggie: Do you wish you lived closer to family members, or actually long for more distance?
*Which member of your family is your favorite? Why? Or, on the flip side, which family member drives you nuts?
*What times in your life would you not have gotten through without the support of family?
*What "wounds" do you continue to deal with that have followed you into today? What can you do about it?
* Would you describe your family as something like The Cleaver family in Leave it to Beaver, the extended dramatic family in Dallas, maybe oddly eccentric like the Addams family, or a mix of characters that has yet to be portrayed?
Trust me, whatever your answers are to any (or all) of these questions, your experiences are shared by many of us.
Unlike most posts, I think it will be most productive if I don't respond to every comment. Each family dynamic is unique. Any thought from me would come from my perspective and that isn't the point.
This should be a fascinating glimpse of the state of familial relationships today.