Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Time for "Our People"

As a kid you watch and at times mimic your parents. Though as we get older there are times we resist them and their philosophies and life teachings, before we realize it all that time with them shaped and molded us and before we know it we become extensions of them. We don't know when or exactly how it happened, but as we move forward in life we can look back and see how all those things we loved and resisted about our childhood experiences influenced the adults we become.

Now as an adult raising my kids I often wonder what are the things-positives and negatives- that will influence them in who they become. Though I could manage a list of the negative influences I worry about, the positive that I often hope to have one of the greatest impacts on them is their commitment to their "people".

Every year about March or April we start our rounds that tend to take us up through the New Year. January and February is our "down" time at home. Some wonder why I keep our schedule so full but when your "people"-family and the friends that are like family- are scattered across the country- it takes some planned effort to hit them all and some several times a year. So we load up as a family and hit the road for sometimes no more than a two hour one night trip and other times for a two day drive, week plus trip. When we are home we have the friends we've made in the little town we've made our home we like to hang out with and our Bmore family that's been here with us since the beginning.

In March we went north five hours to spend a weekend with my husband's family; in April we went west where I not only got to spend a week and Easter with my family but had a dinner out with my cousin before her second chemo treatment, an evening sitting on my sister's deck with my best friend since the fourth grade, and as almost always when I'm home an evening drinking and chatting with one of my very best friends from college. In May we had an impromptu celebration for one of our bmore friends' birthdays, spent an evening around a fire with some of our local friends, enjoyed a visit with a cousin I don't get to see very often, and to kick the summer off we headed to Shenandoah where I got to sit outside and have a much needed heart to heart with a girlfriend of mine that lost her cousin recently. In June we got to go up to New York to see my mom's family that I was long overdue to see and enjoy a night of celebrating wedding bliss with cousins I don't get to see enough. In June we headed back west where unfortunately my time to catch others was short and missed for some, but my kids got a full two weeks in with their cousins, aunts, and grandparents while my husband and I got some much overdue time alone. July will be mostly quiet with hopefully some Sat nights spent catching up with local friends.  In Aug we'll head the five hours back up north to spend with my husband's family, and then our little family will head out to spend a long weekend at the beach. In the Fall we'll hopefully get to make a short trip down to visit our VA friends again this year and spend a weekend camping with other friends of ours we only get to see about twice a year. Then we'll get a weekend away with some old college friends of my husbands for a weekend before spending Thanksgivng and Christmas with each of our families again.

Whether it's the effort we put into making the time for the people that matter to us or the effort to plan time that's just for the five of us away from the to do lists and responsibilities where our number one focus is to just enjoy each other's company, I hope it molds my kids to see the value in committing to whoever "their people" may be (which better include us in our old age!).

We live in a highly distracted world these days. I LOVE social media. It does give me the opportunity to maintain relationships long distance. As a mother God knows I love text messaging as it allows me to carry on conversations with friends without them realizing how completely distracted I am by the chaos that surrounds me most evenings.  But those conveniences could easily convince us that it's okay to miss the dinner out with my cousin, the deck night with my fourth grade bff, the late night conversations sitting in front of the street I grew up on with my college bff, or the long overdue heart to heart with my friend that lost her cousin. No I don't get to catch everyone as much as I'd like, but the opportunity to connect with them in person rather than through the computer or phone is something I hope my kids remember to value. Time is fleeting whether it's my children's childhood slipping by or our parents and grandparents getting older. The older we get the more we understand how fast life can change and how unfair life can be in how much time everyone has here.

I want my kids to see this more than how big the houses are that we live in, the cars we drive, the highs and lows of our careers. I want them to see this time away with their immediate family or time with their extended family and friends is some of the best medicine for their soul. We all need the break from the demands of work, home, and life in general. Though technology makes us think we can stay connect to one another, the late night chats in person or the dinner conversations are always better. That time to connect, laugh, and create memories is something we all need in our life.

I want them to know in the end it's not about the money we made, the things we owned, even the places we went or the things we accomplished. It's always about the people. Life is always about the people love.


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