Relatively Speaking

There’s the tiptoeing around in the early morning, the absurdly quiet sex late at night, going to restaurants you avoid like the mall on black Friday, searching for your Tupperware containers that happen to be suffocating underneath your pots and pans.

There are more than 24 hours of driving time between me and my family, my parents are all retired, and we have the first grandchild, a giggly 2 year old with blonde curls. This means that they visit us frequently and for long stretches of time spanning anywhere from two weeks to two months. It is a long time to silently cringe as your child is fed all forms of unnaturally sweet confection on a regular basis, and to feel the immense pressure of entertaining or at the very least being around your family member constantly.

Old family patterns can creep back into your relationship and control your responses without you even noticing. As the youngest sibling, the “sweet” one, the automatic reaction I have is to be amicable, accommodating, and to absorb endless amounts of criticism disguised as advice or as innocent questions with a good attitude.
When I begin to sigh heavily and feel my words snapping like fresh peapods, I take a little time out for myself.

I think about the fact that two of my grandparents died less than twenty years from the age that my parents are now. I remember that soon enough I’ll be dropping off them off at the airport and will return home to an empty house, going back to the long mornings and afternoons with no adults to talk to. Soon enough Sierra will be asking “where’s grandpa?” And he will already be hundreds of miles away.

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Someday I will say goodbye for the last time. Maybe then I will remember the irritating little habits, the times they angered or upset me, but those memories will look like tiny crumbs compared to the enormous feast that makes up the soul and presence of this person; this beloved family member. As in all things, looking at a situation with a telescope rather than a microscope can help us to move forward in peace in our relationships with the ones that raised us, the ones that loved and knew us the longest. In this way we put our egos in check and choose grace and love to guide us in making the most of our time together with our relatives.

Taming the Crazy, Finding Your Zen

You always seem to be a day late and a dollar short.

With a cold cup of coffee in one hand and a smudge-smattered cell phone in the other, your hair hasn’t been washed in days and your jeans are sagging off your butt. You’re counting the days until payday, when you can buy bananas and stop scrounging through the pantry looking for dried fruit from 3 months ago. You last had a fight with your mother on your birthday which was last year and haven’t spoken since. You wonder about the job market and what you will say when they ask you why you have a leap year long gap in your resume. You watch your kid reaching up to the counter, pulling down the potted plant so quickly you wince and cry out, but it’s crashed on the floor already.

I get it.

It’s ok, and you’re gonna be ok.

You’re Not Perfect, Your kid isn’t either.

Gracefully Let Go of What Isn’t Working

Make it easier on yourself

Live By Your Values

Simplify Your World. The Less You Have, the Freer You Become

Fill Your Cup with Peace

It’s so important to realize that you are not innately full of peace. You actually have to fill your own cup on a constant basis. No one else will do it for you.

Stop. Breathe.

Remember that we are but a speck in the vastly huge cosmos.

Breathe again.

Keep breathing.

Remember: This too, shall pass.