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One therapist once told me that if you want to do some good work on your issues, go spend some time with your family of origin……or more commonly referred to as “family time”. There is something about coming together as a family once we are adults that will reach in and bring out the best/worst in us all.

This week I am in France with my girlfriend’s family celebrating her parent’s 50th anniversary. This is a very big deal in her family……and it should be, 50 years as a married couple is becoming more and more of a rarity in this world. At dinner last night, I asked her father, Raymond, what wisdom could he give me about being married 50 years and he told me two things: take life one day at a time and avoid expectations. Good stuff.

What I have also learned this week is how we as adults are still so influenced by our families, even when we have not lived at home in years. Upon arriving in France, both MP and her daughter Isabel informed me of all the rules of household and it became apparent of the stress MP has been under as her parents ready for her family to descend upon Dunkirk this Sunday for the anniversary party. My first reaction was one of “ya’ll walk on eggshells a lot around your parents” until she reminded me of what it was like when I would get together with my Mom or Dad and it quickly reminded me of a saying I have on all my emails “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” I am the same way around my family.

So this week I am learning about love, patience, understanding and most of all how our families define us. We all have them and we all dance with the paradox of being defined and defining. This is what makes me who I am today……. and it never ceases to amaze me how we all are so different AND I can go half way around the world to France and see in MP’s parents so much of what I see in mine. …..familiar and different……family time.

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