Fathers and families

FathersDayThis past Sunday was Father’s Day.  For me, it’s a time of joy and celebration of a man who was quietly there during lots of good times and a few very, very bad times.  However, this weekend also highlighted that there are many who, for a variety of reasons, do not have a father to celebrate, or who choose not to celebrate their father for very good reasons.

This day must be difficult for them. To go on social media and see all the well-wishes and stores of men who were good fathers.  While they drew the short straw in the father lottery.  My heart goes out to them.  I understand the kind of hole that is left in a person’s soul when that very important person is lacking either in character or in involvement.

You cannot change that person, or those circumstances, but you can acknowledge the loss and then look forward.  There are so many people who want to love and cherish you.  Who want to share your pain so you can endure life easier.  Families come in so many different shapes and sizes.  Fill your life with a family of your choosing.  So that it’s overflowing with support, and love and laughter.

I cannot promise that this will make things less sad on this day.  But I can promise that those who share this day with you will ease that ache just a little because you will be reminded that you matter to so many people.

 

Betrothed

wedding1A friend recently announced her engagement.  She is very happy.  And I am happy for her.  It’s an exciting time. When a newly engaged couple begins to navigate the world as a pair and not as individuals.  It’s such a thrill to say “we” and “us” instead of “I”.  That thought naturally let to several moments of pensiveness pondering the complex negotiation of rendering ones self in a new light.

I’ve often been chided about losing myself in a new relationship.  This often happens to young women who are in a serious, long term relationship for the first time.  It’s difficult to both nurture the bond with your new partner and still retain a sense of individuality.  It’s a delicate balance of partnership and freedom.  Too often I think we forget that retaining our individual goals can enhance a relationship.

Lately I’ve been re-invigorated in pursuing some long-term goals.  The nice part is that it was my partner who provided the impetus for the re-invigoration. The richness and depth individual goals and pursuits brings to a healthy relationship brings it to the next level. Creating a place where you and your partner can thrive and grow and most importantly share with each other.

Not every experience should be experienced together. There is a different kind of enjoyment that happens when you watch your partner share something they experienced that they are passionate about. Your active support in listening and caring about their experience while not essential, is that next level kind of participation that is key in a truly thriving long term relationship or marriage.

I’m so excited to witness this young couple as they begin that journey.  Their lives will never the be the same.  And that’s the blessing.