Talking: Do it. It’s good for you.

**Firstly, I apologize profusely for not having contributed much lately to this blog. I am still trying to get my life in order after my move and such. It’s quite a task, you know! Not that it’s any excuse, but I’m afraid it’s all I’ve got. Now on to my real topic…**

“Why can’t things just stay as they are?”

In the 1994 film “Little Women,” Jo March poses this question to her mother while lamenting the upcoming nuptials of her older sister, Meg.  When I first saw this movie after its release, I didn’t understand this question like I do now. In the past few years, as my brothers and sisters (myself included!) and even my friends have grown older and moved on and formed their own lives, I find myself asking this very question.

When we’re young, life is carefree and we have few (if any) cares or worries. The burdens of our lives fall greatly on our parents. But as we get older, it becomes apparent that change is inevitable and that no matter how hard you try to delay it, people will grow up and move on. College, marriage, new jobs, a sense of adventure calling you across the country, or even the world…. All these things serve to disrupt what was once a peaceful coexistence with those closest to you.

During our “family reunion” last weekend, I thought a great deal about the importance of maintaining open communication bonds with friends and family from around the country. Now that you have so many loved ones spread so far, communication and keeping those bonds alive and strong becomes so much harder. And sometimes you find that there is one main person doing most of the communicating – you.

Keep doing it. While it may be a bit frustrating to feel like you’re the only one making the phone calls and initiating emails and Facebook chats and such, in the end it’s totally worth it. I’m speaking purely from experience here…  No relationship is easy, and any relationship worth keeping will require effort. But years down the road, you don’t want to be that person thinking about failed relationships and lamenting that you didn’t take the time to maintain that bond. My grandmother had a quote that she wrote in beautiful calligraphy and had hanging in her kitchen: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” (I have no idea who said that originally, since it has been falsely attributed to Winston Churchill, but my Google search turned up nothing.)

Going through life with only the relationships that are easy and convenient will not stop time from continuing in its march. But going through life with strong relationships that have withstood the test of time, distance, and difficulty and have prospered through it all, THAT is a life worth living. That is the life you want to look back on in your old age, and that is a life you can be proud of.

So now that you’ve read this, Get thee to the telephone!!

And as always, have a happy and blessed Thursday!

— “Virginia”

And because Mabel and I decided we need more pictures, I thought I’d post a couple of our family — the ultimate work-worthy relationship. You’re welcome. 🙂 Also, getting a family photo with 10 people is extremely difficult, so we basically just gave up trying to get everyone to do the same thing, which made for some awesome “candids.”

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