Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Priorities. Family. Doing What is Right for You.

To preface this post I want to give you some background.  This entry was originally written last January.  January 17, 2014 to be exact.  It has since been tweaked to focus on the upcoming holidays as opposed to the referencing of the past holidays which was in the original writing.  The exact moment I went to hit publish in blogger, my iPad cut and auto-saved.  I was ticked beyond believe and some of my followers got to witness the following moments of my disappointment and pain as it deleted everything.  So I immediately rewrote and was so frustrated that I couldn't bring myself to re-post that same night.  I planned to go forward with publishing after a few days went by in order for me to breathe it out.  Certainly, the original writing had much more of an impact and was much more deep...but seriously who can bring that out of thin air twice.  The woes of journalism. Then on January 22, 2014 at 7:30 a.m. my world changed forever and this blog really hit home.  The most important person, my very favorite and most cherished person of my entire 30 years of existence died.  My Gramma.  This blog and several others were put on hold.  It became a situation of excuses, oh well I just don't know what is the best title now (specifically for this one), or this such & such, or oh that such & such.  Shortly, after my Gramma left us my dearest friend found out her mother was suffering from very advanced cancer.  So much has happened this year and for the first time in 31 years of my life I experienced what most feel like on a regular basis.  I couldn't be me.  Just me and do what I do best.  I always bring my A game, 300%, I am over the top and I love my naturally creative-self.  But this year was a struggle.  I have never, never, never been able to empathize with someone or anyone commenting "well it is a lot you take on" or "it's too much to do" because I have never had a road block of energy or effort-resistance in my entire life.  It has always been an insult for someone to say that to me because it meant they didn't take the time to know me.  Well now, I have experienced it.  I see what it is like.  In August, I finally realized that seven months had passed by and I was not Angela....I certainly wasn't Angela O'.  Now I am back and I am loving it.  So here is that heart felt blog that was originally to publish in January 2014.  It is far from being the best that it was but I don't fail to present.

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The holidays are coming up and the biggest pressure that is put on a couple during the season of greetings is dealing with the stress of family members.  Both those by marriage and by blood.  It seems to have been a bit of a taboo topic in recent past but one that has generated enough discussion for society to admit that it has become a serious source of discomfort for new and long-time couples.

{Original: Now that the holidays have passed} We can openly discuss some of the pressures that come along with vacations and holidays.  Or simply put, the demands.  The demands induced by family, the spouse, or your own personal requirements and goals.  The demands to spend time with each and every person or to in fact spend the holidays with only "the other family".

The solution to this headache is to commit to two separate setups.  No one has the right to pressure or guilt you into your choice because it is not wrong.  There should be no reason that this would cause a riff with your in-laws.  It should only cause appreciation that you are willing to share your significant other and recognition that you can allow him/her to to have freedom from being around you 24/7.  It is okay to share and to be shared with your family and their family.  You will soon enough be going back home to your couple status to conduct business as usual.  The purpose of this blog is to share the words and emotions to let you know it is okay. You are not the only one caught in the middle and wondering what to do.  And this isn't something new, just never openly discussed.

It is hard enough taking time off of work and coordinating your spouse's career schedule along with having to divvy out the cash to make an anticipated trip.  You should be able to cherish those special bonds and relationships with the people who mean the most, knowing that you are on limited time.  So if it means that you visit your parents while he visits his parents during the holiday season, that is okay.  Truth be told it is however you are comfortable.  And the true reason is because we don't have a very long life and our elders have a lesser length of time so why do we want to miss out on what we can partake in. 

Two family members of mine, a couple that are very experienced in marriage and even mathematically wiser in age would make regular visits to Illinois.  They would pack up their one vehicle and drive for 19 hours to visit family.  Both sets of parents lived in rural towns approximately 30 minutes from one another.  However, the wife would choose to spend the nights with her mom and the husband would choose to spend the nights with his mom.  It was fair to both of them.  While they saw each other during the day sharing various activities on their calendars they knew in their heart what was comfortable to each of them and where their heart called home each night.

The second couple grew up in a neighboring Midwest state but did not meet and marry until both moved far away.  Occasionally, they would make trips to see both of their families over the holidays. When the time came they were confident enough to go their separate ways and each stay with his/her own parents.  A couple hours distance was between them both, but their hearts never faltered for one another.  

Another Midwestern couple who moved far away to better their career and livelihood would still make regular trips to their hometown.  Both of their parents believe it or not, lived only blocks from one another.  You might assume that this would make their stay so much easier.  But the fact of the matter is that sharing time and relationships is never easy-peasy-Japanesey.  For several years, the couple would spend their nights slumber with only one parent and during the day spread out their affection with everyone.  Suddenly, this year they decided to transition into a bit of a family split.  She stayed spent the nights with her parents, and he spent the nights with his.  It just made for ease of visiting everyone with the best quality time as possible.  The sweetest couple you will ever know made a tough decision that was just the best thing for the couple.  Oh yeah, and they had a baby!

The truth is that you have to do what is right in your heart for you.  Spending the time with your family and friends who were a great part of your life.  Whether it be your bestest friend, grandmother, grandfather, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or group of best friendsThose bonds and relationships will be forever important and when you became an adult you don't get to encounter them the same way as you did in childhood.  You never know when that opportunity will be permanently taken away from you.  No one should give you any grief, guilt or pressure based on your decisions.  Not parents, step-parents, in-laws, or whoever because you are the adult of your existence.  Period.  

With Love, 

Angela O'

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