My “Modern” Family or how I don’t want nobody f**kin with me no more….

May 12, 2016 | read

Modern families are everywhere, even reflected on some of my favorite TV shows.
Every combination exists.
You would need math skills I don’t have to figure out how many possible combinations are possible; steps, halves, X’s, adopted.

It’s no big surprise that the emotional skills needed to handle these new combos are causing a whole bunch of dramas. It’s like ordering a Pu Pu platter at Lucky Cheng’s for 6 when there are 12 hungry people with just as many food allergies and considerations. Not pretty.
I know.
I’ve had first-hand experience, not with the Pu Pu platter but with Modern Families.

I’m one of “those” optimists, meaning my friends count on me to have a positive point of view, to find that bit of positive in every situation. I like that role, but lately, it’s been severely challenged, but no worries, this story has a happy ending.

Half of my modern family consists of my husband, my son, 2 brothers, my sister-in-law, 2 nephews, my son’s father, my son’s father’s partner, the daughter of my son’s father’s partner, a daughter of my son’s father’s partner’s daughter, my son’s father’s paterners ex-husband, his wife and 2 grand dogs.

It’s a crew.

And I love them all.
Last Thanksgiving we were all together at a county club’s dining hall. We had a wonderful time together catching up and sharing stories, laughing and sharing. We were in no rush to leave.
When someone asked innocently how was my Thanksgiving, I’d share my enthusiasm of the celebration meal and also the list of guests.
“That’s not how it is in my family. ” accompanied with an eye roll was the most common comment.

My question back is always “Wouldn’t you rather have it this way?”
Again, another eye roll.

I’ve come to the conclusion that people don’t know there’s another way. 
Clearly they can’t be choosing a dysfunctional mess because they prefer that?

I’ve learned to ‘make a go of it’, as my British friends say, but everyone has to be on the same page, or at least the same chapter.

In my experience, everyone has to come from a place called “I WANT THIS TO WORK”. 

I don’t mean to yell with caps, but I think it’s an important point.

So what does it take?
I think it’s a commitment to the bigger picture, to the “meta” level.
(That’s a little computer code talk… 🙂

And that takes energy or what is sometimes referred to as work.
(Remember Manyard G. Krebs and how he would say the word WORK!)

There has been many a time when I’m ready to blurt out in a whiney voice, “Why do we always have to {fill in the blank}….” but I immediately remember the bigger picture of why I’m there with this group, and I do an immediate “attitude adjustment”.
And not because I’ve got it all together, I just know from experience that everything is so much more fun when I do.

It’s like my car.

If I’m running out of gas I don’t start yelling at my car and complaining about its needs.

I fill the tank with gas and all is well again.

But it’s not just that.

There’s a secret ingredient.
An essential ingredient.
And with my limited cooking skills, I’ve earned what happens when a seemingly small but essential ingredient is left out of a recipe.
Epic fail.

The ingredient is Generosity.

Generosity, in my experience, is the most important part to making it all work.

When you come from generosity there is little room for drama or exclusion.

I’ve had many different types of family combinations.
When people ask me about my family history, I ask the long version or the short version.
Let’s just say it’s complicated.

But, here comes the optimist.
I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t for me.

My definition of family:
1. We all share in a group with common people that we love. Period.
2. We all have each other’s best interests at heart. Period.

I couldn’t have learned any of this without experience of contrast.

I’ve experienced what happens when jealousy rules, or when creating gossip, rumors, and lies become standard operating procedure.
Where teams are formed and other people are “voted off the island”.

Where people operate from a feeling of “lack”.
Where the “fear of not getting their part of the Pu PU platter” causes great upset.
Where everyone is on a “different page”.
Where excuses instead of action are the norm.

And most importantly, where acting with a generous spirit is not done or looked at suspiciously.
It’s just not for me.
I just don’t have the stomach for it.

In all fairness, I’m sure some will read this and respond with “yeah but’s” or
“It’s not that easy” or “I’ve tried”……. or will start pointing fingers.
I’ve been there.
I don’t want nobody f**kin with me no more.

I know some will read this and want to highlight or red line each sentence and challenge with rhetoric and debate.

I totally get it.

But I’ve learned that will get more of the same old result.
Like that hamster wheel that goes round and round.

My favorite comic Eddie Izzard, does a satirical depiction of the Church of England fundamentalism, explaining how people would be shouting out “You must have tea and cake with the vicar or you DIE!
Throughout the routine, he asks the question over and over, cake or death?
Which will you choose?
Is it Cake or Death?

I choose cake.
I told you it would have a good ending.

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