We just got back from a wonderful family vacation. We spent the week with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents – 12 of us total – on a lake for the week. It was a beautiful, natural setting where got to play in nature and just enjoy the company of family we don’t see but once, maybe twice a year if we’re lucky.
All of us had such a good time. In fact, we’re already planning for another week together next year, and really are hoping to make it a family tradition each year from here on out.
That said – my husband and I are very different in our viewpoints about many things and our lifestyle in general when compared with the rest of the family. Not that being “the black sheep” isn’t a fantastic position; adding color and dynamics to an otherwise very similar group of people. It just isn’t always easy.
As a result, sometimes, I think I bend my personal beliefs to fit the situation and in the end, we end up putting some of our natural family values aside during the visit. Of course I’m sure the rest of the family has to stretch to visit our side of the universe as well – but mostly it’s usually us compromising.
But how much is too much?
This trip has been one of the more balanced mostly because we each had our own house and we could keep more of our own routines in tact. This helped us “get away from it all” more easily than when visiting at another family member’s home where it feels more acceptance is really required.
But at the end of the day is it really OK to save face for the visit so everyone gets along? Or, is it better to be very clear and keep your natural lifestyle together just like you would at home?
And, whatever you do, what are your ways of coping with the friction that can occur when you spend so much time with people that you love very much, but who, at the same time, are so different than you it becomes easier to get along if you put some of your natural family philosophy aside?
You don’t pick your family after all! There are bound to be differences. It’s how you cope with them that matters….and I’m not always sure I go about it as naturally as I can – and I’m almost certain I’m not alone in this.
So, I’d just love to hear more about your tips, tricks, and thoughts on staying natural when visiting with your not so natural family (and friends). I think it can help all of us navigate these sensitive spaces we can sometimes tread with people we love that don’t always share (or in our case even take seriously) our natural view on things.