Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Waxing Philosophy

First of all, I want to give a small disclaimer. I am still sick (will finally get to the doctor tomorrow). So, I will try to make this post make sense, but if it starts to ramble or veer in some strange direction, please, just stick in there. It has a point (and a good one at that).
As I have become older (and wiser?) and started my own family (albeit a small one, currently), I have realized many things about that term family. In light of the New Year, I'd like to discuss my resolutions, or rather, my revelations, and how they will affect the me of 2006.
Often I find myself commenting and criticizing people and their actions. I was raised to be polite, however, so I usually keep my negative thoughts to myself. But, over the past year I have realized that I am becoming a more negative and pessimistic person. Maybe I'm not such a joy to be around. Hmmm, what a concept. Since I was young, I've always been told that I can be bossy and moody, but I never judged others. So, when and why did this begin? I don't know. Maybe I should ask my mom--she would give me the truth (too much truth, sometimes). Well, what this leads to is me having negative feelings towards people who have done things that I don't agree with. They make seemingly negative decisions, I'm too polite to speak my mind, and I end up keeping it all inside.
That's also why I've made comments about not wanting to offend certain family members on this blog--since it was developed in part for them--but now I'm going to just do it. Y'all, please don't get upset with me. I just need to get a few thoughts out of my head and off my chest.
To be fair, let's start with my family. I have a "mixed family." My mom had me when she was 20 and raised me alone until I was 9. Then she married my dad (okay, step-dad, technically). When I was 11 she had my sister (yes, half-sister, technically). Then when I was 16, my step-brother and step-sister (15 and 11) came to live with us. I remember being very unhappy (maybe disappointed) when my life started changing. Had to share mom with dad, had to share them with sister, had to share room with "baby" sister because "they" were moving in, etc. But then, magically, it happened. TOGETHER we were a COMPLETE family. And, I wouldn't trade my life with them for anything. I love my family very much and I respect each member for all of their strengths and all of their weaknesses. And, I absolutely love being the big sister!
Okay, enough with butterflies and rainbows, we have our problems, too. When someone in my family does something that I don't agree with, I tell them. They'll listen, or not. I just want to know that I let them know how I feel. That way, when I make decisions to include/exclude them from certain aspects of my life, they'll know why. I know that no matter what they decide, I'll still love them and care about them, but I have to make my decisions based on what's best for me. Get it?

Well, now we're getting to the sticky part. My in-laws (da da dum). Altogether, they're wonderful, caring people. R loves each of them very much, and through him, I have learned to accept their strengths and weaknesses and love each of them myself. And, I hold them to the same standards as my own family. But, see, they're different. R doesn't feel the same obligation to tell them how he feels, well, not all of them. I'll just say it. He doesn't talk to his sister. She's 4 years younger than him, and they had a tough childhood. He left home at 18 to go to college, and only returns home to visit. This is the part I need to get out of my heart and off my chest. I love his sister a lot (like one of my own sisters), but I feel like I'm not allowed (or supposed) to. Over the past several years, she has made a lot of personal decisions that seem to contradict the kind of life she had always talked about wanting (and the kind of life anyone would want/expect for a loved one). And, R feels like he can't/shouldn't talk to her about them. I've asked if he would mind if I did, but he doesn't like that, either. I think he tries to protect her (but from what?). He says that she's "old enough" to make her own decisions, yet I'm left wondering why she's not "old enough" to hear the truth (his views and opinions). So, this is my inner conflict. I love this woman as my sister, and I disagree with some of her decisions, and (perhaps) I have some input/advice/suggestions that (might) help her, but I can't (am not allowed) talk to her.
On Christmas Day, we (R, his sister, and I) finally had the opportunity to talk. Now ask, "how'd it go?" Well, a lot of issues came up that we had no idea were weighing on her heart and mind, and we were able to share some of our thoughts on the current situation. Did we accomplish anything? I don't know. But, at least now she has some idea of how how we feel.
I guess the thing we all realized (and this is where I'd appreciate y'all's input, advice, opinion, experience) was that it doesn't matter how much love, life history (shared childhood), or honest concern you have for a person (even your own sister): Children grow up, we start our own families, and we choose our own Individual Life Path.
All R and I can do is pray for her to find her own happiness. And, we have to move on and carry on with our lives. It's just sad. To think that the One Person In The World who knows your childhood, your history, and has the potential to be a part of your Whole Life--doesn't.


At 8:53 AM, Blogger Gary 's valuable input...

Some problems are very hard to deal with, and this seems to be one. I guess you just have to trust your instincts. But at least you have a firm grasp of what the problem IS. That gives you a leg up on solving it. BTW, you have a very nice blog.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

I think that is all you can do, talk to anyone, give your opinion, and let it go. You can't make decisions for people, but input does help.
Ultimately, you have to make your own mistakes, which is sometimes maddening because "I've been there" just doesn't cut it.

Hope everything works out for the best!

At 10:30 AM, Blogger ccw 's valuable input...

My family is the type that blurts it all out, good or bad. Mr. S's family keeps everything every quiet. It can be quite maddening to bite your tongue, but a lot of "stuff" is avoided that way.

When I was younger, I would have advised that you talk to the family member about thier behavior. However, I have come to realize that this is futile because it is impossible to make someone change their mind, even if the choice they are making is a bad one. We all live and learn. So, now I would say that unless it directly impacts you, Richard, and your marriage to just let it be and hope for the best. (The exception would be if the person was a kid and then someone needs to step in or talk to the parents)

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Lo Lo Lova 's valuable input...

Sometimes all you can do is be there for that person and be ready to pick up the pieces when it all falls apart. It's unfortunate that you can't have someone else learn from your mistakes. They have to make them on their own.
I'm sorry this hurts you so much. The good news is that she's still young, and hopefully she'll get this all out of her system before long...

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Celina 's valuable input...

Thanks to all of you for your input and support. Mostly, I just needed to get this OUT (of me). I'll continue to pray for her happiness--she really is a wonderful person, and deserves a good life.

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Aunt Judy 's valuable input...

Celina....I truly appreciate your post on this topic. I soooooo wish there was something I could do, especially since I've "Been There" and see the path that she may be heading down. I hope and pray that I'm wrong and that all works out but....

As for you and R telling her how you guys feel....that, too, is a necessary evil. You should NOT hold these things in. It may actually GET THROUGH to her!

I am also so very proud of her and saw a different "Writing On The Wall" of her life. I hope that she will see how much the people that love her and want only the very best for her aren't being critical, just trying to hang in there and help and offer guidance when needed and....yadda.....yadda....yadda...

Also.....THANK YOU for the picture you posted! My son has not bothered to share the one he has on HIS camera yet!

Love to you and R....Happy New Year and keep good thoughts in your mind.....it does keep the ick away!

At 9:45 PM, Blogger zombieswan 's valuable input...

It is unfortunate that she has made the decisions she has made which will make her life much harder than it needed to be. BUT that doesn't mean that those things she wanted to do will totally NOT happen. They will just be much, much harder now.

But sometimes, people are so afraid to succeed that they throw obstacles in their own way. I'm not sure that's what she's done, but maybe a little sub-consciously she has.

Sorry to have been absent so long. I'll try to be a better Auntie. :)


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