Sunday, December 23, 2012

Family and letting others in

As we are immersed in the holiday season, I look at Thanksgiving and New Year's book ending a very hectic and busy yet sweet and loving time of year.  I think a lot about my family; I have lived away from the family that I was born in to for many years and have found myself fortunate to establish a network of family for myself wherever I have landed.  I love where I live right now and the family I have created for myself and for this reason I am determined to stay put.  I just got off of the phone with my mother after having described in detail some of the traditions that have become part of my holiday season (the delivery of pajamas from the pajama elves on Christmas Eve and Side Dish Christmas on Christmas day) and she said to me with much conviction that she finally understood why it was so important for me to stay in this community.  I am grateful for the family I was born into and grateful that they understand the importance of the family I have chosen.  I am grateful for the family I have chosen and who have chosen me.

I wrote the following during the first month of my unemployment and feel it is quite relevant to post at this time:
I am a single woman who has lived most of her adult life on her own.  I have supported myself financially since college and have been fine living pretty much pay check to pay check.  My money has gone to travel, concerts, food and not really to physical possessions.  My apartment consists of mostly hand me down furniture and most days I am OK with this.  Not working has made me reevaluate how I will stretch the money that I have and what I am really able to live on. 
As I have shared with close friends about my current situation it became very clear very quickly that if need be it I would not need to worry about housing and food.  Left and right I was getting affirmations of love and support from friends near and far.  As meaningful as this was it was also quite overwhelming, it is difficult for me to accept help from others in this grand way.  After all I have been on my own for so many years and only me taking care of me.  I have been trying really hard to let others in, reach out when I need it and accept the hands that have been reaching out to me.
But I have been, I have been letting others help me and give to me and in small ways I try to repay.  Overwhelming again to realize what I mean to those who are reaching out to me.  I lead my life in a positive manner, I get to know the people who I encounter casually and form relationships fairly easily.  I believe that people are essentially good and some just do not know how to manifest that yet.  The graciousness that I have been granted correlates with the time and care that I have taken to get to know people.  I, like many people, am willing to help but have a difficult time accepting help from others.  But if we are going to truly be part of the world we must accept the help from others because it is this acceptance that allows us to give so freely when we have the ability to do so.   We are not in this alone.  There are reasons why we live in communities, why we build relationships and why we let people in.
 Happy Holiday to you and your family  (however you choose to define them)!!

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.  Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."
~ Richard Bach, Illusions


  1. Love the post! Merry Christmas, because you said that was ok ;) See, I've been reading!

    1. Thank you Melissa and thank you for being part of my Massachusetts family!!