Familial friendship

Just because you are family, doesn’t mean you are friends.

My mom and I have uttered that phrase many times throughout the years.  We normally mention it when we are chatting about the fact that we are such close friends and how we find our tight relationship to be quite a rarity among family members.  Among all of my friends, coworkers and outlying family, none of those people share the love and bond that my mom and I have.  We see a lot of surface-level interactions, where people are cordial, polite and relatively kind to one another, but nothing that remotely exhibits real friendship.  Maybe it is just our family, although I believe these types of things occur in a lot of other family circles, but I see more fake bullshit, jealousy, arrogance and rude behavior than I see genuine kindness and love from some of my aunts and uncles, not only to myself but more so to my mother.

Throughout the years, I have seen several of my aunts and uncles, including my mother’s only sister and her dorky husband, treat my mother as if she was less than in every respect.  Despite my mom being the older sibling, who has always cared for and loved her little sister, my aunt has routinely spoken condescendingly and disrespectfully both to and about my mother.  As my mother’s daughter, I hate this.  I am really sickened by anyone who mistreats my mother, who is such a kind and loving woman.  My mother would give you the shirt off of her back (in fact she has with children in need in South America) and she exudes love and happiness every day that she walks through life.  She greets all those she comes in contact with on a daily basis with a smile, generosity, friendliness and a feeling of genuine realness that is too often lacking in human interactions these days.  I believe that my aunt acts the way she does because she is an insecure person who is unhappy with herself and jealous of the beautiful relationship that I have with my mother.

Despite the lack of relationships that I have observed in both my own family and countless others, I am so thankful for the lovely mother that I have.  From the love, guidance, grace and endless support she gave me as a growing girl, to the friendship and pure fun we have during our visits throughout the year, I am so grateful for her in my life.  As both of my parents are in Poland right now, and I am even further from them geographically than I normally am cross-country, I am sending love to those two wonderful people in my life.  May their bellies be full with fresh perogies and their hearts full of happiness…and should they choose to order the pig cheek from the room service menu for a late-night snack, I hope it brings a smile to their face.

 

*6:59pm update:  I almost forgot.  My intention with this blog post of the next was to make a commitment to write a little more and to truly make this one of my more important and present priorities.  Now that school is done and the pups are getting older, and therefore mildly more independent, I have a little more free time that I want and need to devote to this passion project.  So join me on this journey as I pledge to write more frequently – don’t hold me to it if I miss a day or two though, ok?

 

Regrets

I have a lot of regrets, as I imagine a lot of people do.  I regret not taking college seriously because I would really like to have my BA completed (although I dispute the necessity of a college degree but that is an entirely different conversation).  I regret not being serious about taking care of myself earlier on in life – just committing to losing weight and getting to the place I want to be, rather than struggle year after year with the same issues.  I also regret the way I treat those that I love sometimes.  These regrets in particular bother me, because our time with each other is fleeting and every minute with someone you care about could be your last.

This last and final regret always surfaces after I spend time with my parents.  When we are under one roof, during a visit to their house or when they come to visit my husband and I, there is always at least one occasion during those few short days that they annoy the hell out of me.  As bad as that may sound, I can’t help it.  It might happen because we don’t spend a lot of time physically with each other anymore so when the concentrated visit happens, it can be overwhelming.  And this doesn’t just happen with my parents, it happens with my husband’s parents at times too.  When you are incredibly independent by nature, plus you have lived apart from your parents for a considerable amount of time, having 24/7 interaction for multiple days in a row can be heavy to say the least.  And I am sure they would say the same about me because I can be difficult as well.

During our visits, there is normally one spat of bickering, arguing, and/or crying, followed by realizing the confrontation is a waste of time and then the inevitable reconciliation.  As I write that, I realize that it sounds kind of crazy and unstable.  But that’s us.  Or maybe that’s me.  I think the honest truth is that I can only handle small doses of them.  This might be true of all people with their parents but I do feel badly actually vocalizing it.

My mom is on her way to our local airport as I write this.  About thirty minutes after she left our house this morning, I started thinking of regrets.  I regret wasting any of our precious time together because it is a rarity.  None of us are getting any younger and every time I see either of my parents could be the last.  It’s the same for anyone you love.  My husband is at work this morning and there is a chance he doesn’t come home tonight.  When you watch the evening news, there are plenty of husbands that don’t make it home at night – our volatile world takes lives every day at the hands of violence and unfortunate accidents.

So although she has already left, and our time together was wonderful overall, I decided to write about regrets because the only way you can change things is by recognizing them.  I can’t change the way I feel or how frustrated I get, I know that.  But I can change the way I react to situations.  So maybe, just maybe, the next time we are together and my parents annoy the hell out of me, I will try to react more calmly and maturely.  After all, I am them and they are me and none of this would have been possible without them.  I love you mom ♥

Finding your true North

What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?  My first 34 years are behind me and I can’t take back any of the things I have done.  I haven’t done anything wrong in those years but all of the time is gone.  Since I don’t know how many more years I have left, how do I know what kind of time frame I have to accomplish my unknown tasks?  I have just under a hundred directions I want to go and just as many careers I want to pursue.  Hugo and I have tons of places we intend to visit, the majority of which I would run off to right now if work didn’t get in the way.  I wish someone could tell you where to go and what to do with your life.  As if there was a perfect answer to the scrolling questions and unfinished sentences in my head.  As if a script was already written, you were handed a guidebook along with a bag of survival tools, and you embarked on the path.  As bland as that may sound, it might be easier at times than having to navigate in the dark on your own.  Are you right where you should be or should you take a drastic risk and it will prove successful?  Of course the main fear we all have is that it won’t work out and I will find myself disappointed in failure and angry with poor decisions.

All of those thoughts stem from my recent internal battle over what direction to go with my life.  It isn’t a true mid-life crisis because, Spaghetti Monster willing (please comment if you get that reference rather than the typical ‘God willing’ phrase), I have well more than roughly thirty more years left on this planet.  Maybe 30 years left on Earth and another thirty on Mars?  Just kidding.  I am simply hoping for another sixty healthy years with Hugo by my side.

My recent thoughts originate from a few levels – my frustration with my current career, the thought of so many of my interests not being explored, and the feeling that every day I go to work doing what I am currently doing, I feel as if my days could be much more satisfying to me if I could throw myself into one of my many entrepreneurial interests.  There really isn’t any way of knowing if I never take the leap to make a change.  But gosh that is scary.

For now, I will just keep sitting here and plotting my next moves.  Day dreaming about the bakery I want to open, the real estate endeavors I want to take, and the endless business ventures I want to cannonball into like a teenager at the edge of a rocky edge in a sweltering summer day.  In fact, it is quite hot outside on this particular Sunday afternoon so maybe a cannonball would be appropriate right now.

Writer’s Note:  I haven’t shared this blog with anyone in my family, other than my husband, mother and father.  Apparently my parents thought that the point of all this was for me to express myself, pose rhetorical questions, and share my deepest, darkest thoughts…and then THEY would reply with tips and suggestions on how to fix it.  I understand that this is the natural parental response because they care about and love me HOWEVER, that is most definitely not the intention.  I assured my mother on the phone today that I didn’t go through the effort of writing so that I could inform them of my feelings by way of a daily post.  If I get one more email from them that includes “Dad found you some nail-biting solutions on Google”, I might have to take extreme measures (dare I say Mom and Dad get blocked?!). Love you both very much ♥