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A Combination of Celebrations

With my impending family visit, the gears in my head have been working overtime. Finding a balance with family has been a little tougher than I had once thought, and it warranted a sharing that I thought you would all enjoy.

I have noticed that when I lived close to my parents, Craig too, that everything was obviously as it should be. We got together for the holidays, brat frys, and birthdays. But what happens to all of those normal annual events when you move away? When you don’t live near them at all?  Obviously, there is change.

Here is the problem: Mom is coming for a visit, with Bob, along with Craig’s mom and dad. I am thrilled they are coming, but then I realized how much I had missed celebrating with them. Yes, birthday cards and packages can be mailed, but having them all here, FOR REAL, makes celebrating almost priority.

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Kyra’s Graduation, Emily’s Birthday, oh and all of THEIR Birthdays we didn’t get to see them for also. It is really overwhelming, and I am sure I am putting more stress on myself than needed.  We skyped Christmas with my parents this year and it was very hard to enjoy- it wasn’t the same. I feel like I should be decorating my house with every holiday known to man for their arrival.

It’s funny, but I remember talking to a particular co-worker who would tell me about their Thanksgivings with the family and that was when everyone comes in town- they would have not only celebrate that, but also Christmas.  It just isn’t something I ever gave full thought to until this past year.

Yes, I thought about “how” I would cope with this- and dealt with it every time a special day came up. But I can also say that the “specialness” of those days wasn’t necessarily what the celebration was, but the combo of it with the relative I was sharing it with.

My point? Relocating changes family dynamics, traditions, and relationships. No one wants it too, but it happens. I believe we all don’t think it will, we all say in our heads or even out loud “We will get together.” But life happens, and when in a new town/city/state things are constantly taking your attention, that sometimes it’s easy to forget what you left behind. “Out of sight, out of mind” will never be your family, you will always love them- but the relationship you had with them will change whether you like it or not.

My advice? Well, don’t procrastinate on any of the celebrations, whether you live close or not. Keep up with the birthdays, calling and staying in touch will help any relationship. Making the effort shows that you truly care about them and whether they ever reciprocate it or not should never matter. Find a way to make it work, because this is how things are now and I have to tell myself that almost every day.

Now I want to reiterate, I AM OK….some of you read these posts like I may be typing them in some corner rocking back and forth. I reassure you I am fine, like everything about my blog, it is about keeping it real. I have heard MANY of you say “I could never leave my ________ behind.” Well, I did, and so did Craig, and this is just one of those oddities born from it.  Keep it in mind and have a great day.

8 Comments »

  1. Amy, you are so funny…you made me laugh out loud, at my desk, at work! The part where you said “some of you read these posts like I may be typing them in some corner rocking back and forth.” I worry about drifting apart from our families too. However, I live 2 houses away from my parents and weeks can go by without talking to them or seeing them, so who knows we may talk more when we are in Florida. Families are so complicated sometimes.

  2. I just had to laught when you said “some corner rocking back and forth”. I am picturing you doing that LOL. But other than that, I can’t imagine how hard it is to not get together with your family and friends on those special occasions. I hope to one day be able to relocate to FL one day and I know how hard it would be for me to leave my family behind. The only good thing is that we live about 10 hrs from WDW and not a few days drive.
    You will get through this and over time I am sure it will get easier. Hope you have a great time when your family visit you guys.

  3. It is all new when not around family. I have lived in Mexico and now Florida away from family. But now you can set new traditions (I know not the same). Now we do holidays with friends and sometimes just the three of us. I am glad to have good friends here…I miss family but glad that I can celebrate with friends…

  4. We moved away from our family years ago and it was quite an adjustment. However, what helped us was making our own traditions. We’re a family of three so there’s no way we were going to be able to match the huge turkey and hustle and bustle of Thankgiving at my Grandma’s with 50 people, so we don’t try. Instead, we order an already made turkey with sides, look through the ads for black Friday and then go catch a movie or two.

    For Easter we do an egg hunt at home, go to a fancy brunch and then go bowling in the afternoon. Again, it’s our own tradition and not something we used to do with family.

    I think if I sat home and tried to bake a turkey for just the three of us, it would feel lonely and make me miss home, but since we are doing something different, it feels a little better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still sad and miss old traditions, I just think it just makes you a little sadder if you try to replicate those traditions because they’ll never be the same without your extended family. KWIM?

  5. Lots of things become second nature when you have everyone close by. Not taking for granted, it’s just that things are comfortable. Now, it ‘s no longer your “norm” so, I am sure you are excited, and I am excited for you!! You will have a wonderful time with your family!!

  6. I remember when I moved permanently away from my family to another state when I was in my mid 20s – I really missed those informal visits – shopping, lunch, etc. Our new dynamic meant that we would see each other once a year but for several days in a row at each other’s houses. I really missed the old dynamic. But we’ve had some fun times with the new dynamic, too. You’re right – it is a change but can be even more fun! And I know what you mean about laying it all out there on your blog – the ups and downs – people sometimes think you’re losing it – lol! We’re just keeping it real! Keep it up!!

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