Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Anais ForReal

Straight No Chaser

Family: Redefining What that Means During the Holidays and Beyond

3 min read
Photo by Isr4el 〰 on Reshot

Photo by Isr4el 〰 on Reshot

This year has tested me on every possible level. It has unraveled everything that I thought I knew about identity, life, love, relationships, friendships, people, and family. It has changed how I view practically everything I’ve believed to be the norm for my entire life. What I once thought about everything, no longer applies. I can choose to view that as frightening or go with embracing it. I am opting to go with the latter.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I knew that it could be a tough day for me to get through due to the death of my dad. That is what started the unraveling of everything that was my norm in the past. At my 8th therapy session, my therapist asked what I would be doing on Thanksgiving. I didn’t know for sure the Monday before Thanksgiving what I would be doing. I’d bought a bit of food, but I wasn’t even sure if my son would be home, or if I would be cooking at all.

At one time Thanksgiving was a huge family event. However, that was ten years ago and a lot less family divisiveness ago. The family had started to unravel seven years previous over some trivial nonsense that had been overblown. Seventeen years later, the foolishness has persisted, been exacerbated even more, and continues a familial divide that just should not have happened initially. BUT WHATEVER at this point.

So, fast forward to 2019, and I am here planning for a Thanksgiving that may or may not take place. According to my therapist, I needed to start to redefine these very important holidays. I needed to create new traditions and leave the past ways of celebrating holidays, in the past, where they belong. In an unexpected turn of events, I was able to do just that.

I spent my holidays with my maternal aunt, and family it was so nice. They are always a joy to spend time with, and they make me feel more welcome than I ever felt by the paternal family that I spent time with in the past. There’s always laughter, love, and acceptance that I’ve never experience elsewhere or with past holiday gatherings with the other side of the family.

All of this made me think about family, friends, and love. It made me look at NOT the family, but the familial bond, love, and understanding. It validated my opinion that not all family is created equal and that we should continue to focus on the family members that love us versus the family that we inherit by genetics. Not all family members are equal. We should embrace those that love us most, instead of focusing on a family based on genetics, only. Just because we inherit family through genetics, does NOT mean that we have to keep them, especially if they don’t show us love, or they can’t receive our love without stipulations.

Family means love. PERIOD.

I would love to know how you handled your holiday with difficult family members. Check me out on FBIG, and Twitter to let me know!

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