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Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. Anthony Brandt
I come from a large family. A blessing few of younger generations will experience. We are spread over Canada but remain close. My sister and her daughter are visiting right now. “More family,” my niece says.
She is in love with the idea of family. It is lovely getting a few days with a nine year old. To see things through her eyes is to glimpse the world as if looking at it anew. We walk around not seeing all the amazing beauty around us. Kids help us look at the world again, seeing what they see.
I read a blog post about a friend who said she was losing her friend who had gotten married and was now a mother. They promised each other they would stay the same. It is an impossible dream and the friend knew it. She seemed unwilling to become embroiled in the friend’s new life baby and all. She doesn’t know what she is missing. I hope she finds out kids are worth it.
Children are the most entertaining people in the world. When you stay home with your family sometimes people think you are missing out. Often it is time away from our families that we miss out on. They grow up so fast. We know it, we promise ourselves we’ll remember everything, we’ll savor the sweetness. We do, but it’s still gone in a blink of an eye. You wake up one morning and your baby is all grown up.
I live across from a school yard and listening to children laugh and play is music to my ears. I hear it isn’t music to everyone’s ears and I wonder why? The joy coming from playing children is palpable; how can you not get caught up in their joy?
My little dog has a playmate for a week. She is going to miss my niece; it was love at first sight for both of them.
My daughter works with little kids in a facility adjoining a senior’s home. The older people love watching the kids. She takes her troop to visit the seniors and they are always welcome.
We make our lives about money at our peril. Accomplishing something is a worthy goal. Building a family is one of the worthiest. It is also one of the most important. We wonder why women who seemed success driven don’t reach for the top jobs. Somewhere along the way they realize what is important and it isn’t the next promotion. If we are lucky enough to have a life that isn’t hand to mouth, and the next promotion doesn’t make life better. Then the next promotion isn’t important to the family. Once you reach a certain standard of living, more doesn’t do all that much.
We are told that on their death bed, no one talks about the meeting they didn’t get to, the promotion they didn’t get. Bronnie Ware an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care has observed the top five regrets of the dying.
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. At the end it was easy for them to see the dreams that didn’t get fulfilled. Most of the people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing it was due to choices they made or did not make.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. This came from every patient she nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. The women hadn’t spent their lives as breadwinners but the men regretted spending so much time on the treadmill of work.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings to keep “the peace.” Many developed illnesses relating to bitterness and resentment because of it.
I wish I had stayed in touch with friends. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
I wish I’d let myself be happier. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.
We all have choice until we don’t. We never know when that will be. If we can make the best of what we have, where we are, and with who we are with and choose to bring our dreams into existence even in small ways then we have a life well lived.
If you sing, sing, if you paint, paint, if your write, write. Don’t wait for the right time, the right work shop, retirement. We should have our hobbies well in hand before retirement. The reward of being creative is the journey it takes us on. Wanting to be a famous writer is not the same as wanting to write. Writing is one of the best ways to express yourself. Keeping the peace is not a bad thing, but silencing ourselves when talking about things would be better for everyone is not the answer.
We need to talk so people will listen and listen so people will talk. It is a skill we can all learn. One of the gifts we can give people is to listen to them and really hear what they are saying. So many of us feel unheard, silenced, not listened to. If we only learn one skill let it be cFamilies are the tie that reminds us of yesterday, provide strength and support today, and give us hope for tomorrow.
The soul is healed by being with children. Fyodor Dostoevsky