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July 12, 2011 / alunatunes

Relative Calm


“Happiness is having a large, loving, close-knit family….in another city.” George Burns

relative (noun) a person who is connected with another or others by blood or marriage.
relative (adjective) existing or having its specific nature only by relation to something else; not absolute or independent: Happiness is relative.
 
I love the George Burns quote about family. My own family is quite scattered across the eastern seaboard. I have no actual close relations on my side of the family within a short drive. My significant other’s family is over an hour away and we rarely see them due mostly to the confining nature of our work schedules.
This weekend, we had a most wonderful opportunity to see a close relative and her husband and his children, who were visiting this side of the country. It was a long drive to the beach, but it was terrific to see a dear sister and spend time with her relative new husband and children we had yet to meet. It was an arduous drive with summer traffic and a few car snafus, but it was all worth it just to see them and be able to visit for twenty-four hours.
 
Other relatives semi-close chose not to come. A rather shocking display of petty jealousies and a policy to live in the past permitted them from joining us.
 
It’s astounding to me to not partake in joy when it is served up. Particularly when it is served up at the ocean side during the summer among kind and happy people.
 
What is this selfishness? Is it not proper we should care about others, our relatives, when they are near enough to visit? Is it not good to put aside petty differences and join together for the benefit of those who traveled halfway across the country and rented a lovely home specifically for the purpose of family gathering?
 
Consider your family today and opportunities to say hello in person. I realize some families have members who are dangerous or untrustworthy, and people who have personality disorders perhaps should not partake in family get togethers.  It is a sad fact the family dynamic is often frought with mental instability.
 
Distribute relative calm among your family instead of strife and trouble. Constantly dredging up the past permits us from fully enjoying the here and now. If a hurt or wound is keeping you from making an appearance,  get out of your own head and realize what your company means to a family member.
 
Large, loving, close-knit families are a gift. Our attitudes and love make them a treasure.
 

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