Fun or Frosty? The Family Soirée

soi·rée [swah-rey]
noun
an evening party or social gathering, especially one held for a
particular purpose: for conversation or music.
Origin:
1810–20; < French, equivalent to Old French soir evening

Am I the only one who shrinks from the knowledge that a family soirée is rapidly approaching? My family has begun a once monthly, potluck dinner for those of us who live near enough. We alternate: meat dish, vegetables, and dessert. Our gathering place is our parent’s trailer. We’ve been doing this for a few months now and I don’t fully understand my reaction to it. Part of it is the commitment of coming up with a food dish and then preparing it. This does take some effort and I dread the hours leading up to it. What’s that all about? Its only a once a month obligation.

Through this, a long-standing personality trait of mine keeps rearing it’s head; my reluctance to socializing. If I leave commitments open, they will not happen. In order to keep these connections going, I must set a date and time on my calendar, with a reminder. If it’s on my calendar, I seem to feel less pressure to pick up the phone, or go for coffee, or…attend a family soirée. No room for laziness or excuses. What’s your excuse?

Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~Author Unknown

Once we are all in attendance, however, and the conversations set about, and the laughter commences, all that initial silliness dissipates completely. I love being with my family! Allowing myself to relax, and delight in all the love, compassion, intellect, and abundance of humor, always seems just what I need. Now, I am only speaking for myself, but my impression is that my family feels the same way. I’m going to go out on a limb and say, the in-laws are enjoying themselves too.

Why don’t we do it more often, you ask?

Everyone has their work, their own families, and their own obstacles to the idea. Yet, I see everyone setting off for home afterwards, with a smile on his or her face. An important element here is, we all seem to get along which definitely takes the pressure off anyone who feels they have to show up. I know Mom and Dad treasure these moments, of watching their children engage one another and share the different stages of life they happen to be steeped in at the moment. For those of us who have children, is it not joyous to watch them interact? It is for me. This is how it is supposed to be and we can all gain tremendous comfort from this closeness.

A family reunion is an effective form of birth control. Heinlein…hahaha! 

I will be leaving in a couple of hours, for a family ‘lunch’ of waffles, bacon, and a cornucopia of delicious toppings. At this point, I am looking forward to it completely. Maybe that has something to do with the fact I’m the helper of the waffle preparation, and not the only cook, or maybe, the emotions uprooted from writing this post have me all mushy, gushy now. Pretty sure it is the latter. I would love to jump over the initial, self-induced, frivolous, reaction and get to the part where large helpings of happiness, abundance, and love are dispersed. (Mental note made)

I guess the main point is, (and you are all probably thinking that it’s about time); we can certainly go about our lives with our own families, our work, our hobbies, and achieve great things, but, there is something bigger within a family. So I put my crap aside and enjoy those whom I have a bond with. When I make the effort, be mindful, be open, and chill, I always leave with a smile on my face and a warmth in my heart.

Family isn’t something that’s supposed to be static, or set. People marry in, divorce out. They’re born, they die. It’s always evolving, turning into something else. Sarah Dessen

CHALLENGE: Pick up the phone, go for coffee, or take a weekend trip to spend time with your family.

Let me know how you feel about getting together with your family, if you have similar responses, and how often your soirées occur. Do you want more of them, or less?

Disclaimer: These are the opinions of myself only. No one else contributed.

 

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