I’m just back from a family reunion and had a great time. It was nice to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in awhile especially members of my extended family who I don’t see all that often. It’s much more enjoyable to see people during times of fellowship and celebration than only when something sad has happened or to wait for a wedding. Unfortunately as we get older it seems to get harder to stay connected: people move away, careers get more demanding, kids keep us busy, and there is only so much free time. It almost always takes a significant event to cause people to drop what they are doing and make the effort to see one another.
In a world where technology is supposed to keep us more connected, I worry that it is also making our absence more acceptable. While it’s good that you don’t always have to physically be there to stay in the communication loop and share other’s experiences, I also believe there is no real substitute for face to face interpersonal communication. You need to see people’s kids grow up not just hear about it to get the true essence of the people they are becoming. The ability to make eye contact, discern tone of voice and read body language are critical to fully understanding one another. Shared storytelling, laughter, fun and hugs which are the true lubricant of any relationship are really only possible if you spend time together. And, like all relationships, caring recedes with time if there is a loss of focus and lack of attention.
I’ve noticed that it’s easier for people to be socially awkward and distant from other’s they spend little time with. It’s tempting to make your nuclear family everything, but sadly it is also ultimately limiting for you and your children. The world can be a tough place at times and life has its challenges, however, the ride is much easier if you know you have a circle of people who genuinely care about you and have known you for a long time (sometimes forever). It’s also nice to have people in your life who appreciate and love you for who you are not what you’ve become or have. Everyone’s life follows a fairly similar trajectory and it’s comforting to know that you don’t have to share the experience alone or only rely on a few people. I encourage you the fight the narrowing of your social circle especially when it comes to your family and close friends. It may not always be easy and will require some personal sacrifice on your end, but it will be worth it in the long run.
- Family Reunion (imagesofthisbeautifullife.wordpress.com)
- Re-surfacing (notthedestinationbut.wordpress.com)
- Family Relationships: How to Strengthen Bonds with Extended Family (momitforward.com)
- What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘family’? (eslschoolforenglish.wordpress.com)