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Friday, January 18, 2013

Opportunities for Growth or why I never lived alone

Not MY large family, but you
get the picture..

All of my life, I have written stories on small scraps of paper.  When ideas for stories rush into my head from something someone has said, I record it on what ever is handy. Grocery receipts, back of gum wrappers, CD envelopes, recycled homework and old business cards. Anything, just so I capture the words before they are lost.

My husband and I both come from large families. We are both number five in the family's birth order. We are both observers and we are both very patient. Together, we have four children, so almost needless to say, I have seldom been alone. The best part of my situation is; I always have stories, though discerning which is my story to tell and which is not, can be very tricky.  That is the blessing and curse of living with so many people all of the time. One gets so much material to write about, but cannot always use it.

I have never lived alone. I went from my mother's house to my husband's house with nary a gap between. I do not regret this choice.  It was an unusual path to take in 1978, the year I was married, but in my mother's day it was not. Once again, it has become the norm, but for very different circumstances.

Some might say; that one must live alone to truly know oneself, but I am not sure that is always the case. It is by living with others that I have learned what my true agendas are and whether they work for the circle I exist in and by extension the world at large or… maybe not.

My mother likens adult children living at home to litter training. She is referring to puppies raised with the litter. The results of this are: socially acclimated animals that in turn make better pets. Like puppies, siblings do not put up with much from each other and so the rough edges are smoothed off with a clarity not often found from strangers.

I grew up with four brothers and one sister and then later two step-sisters and one step-brother were added to the mix. While I never lived in the same house with the step-siblings, these new relationships ended up being just another part of loosing more ruff edges. All good, in the game of life.

So, with all of this economic meltdown and adult children are coming back home to live, I have been given a huge gift as a person and parent. All of our four adult children returned home and in the process have taught me many things about myself, some good and some I had been loath to face.

I like to say, when I faced with obstacles or difficult moments; Oh Boy! Another opportunity for growth. It helps me, and I need a lot of help. I also remind myself, this will make a really good day.

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