30 Days of Gratitude, Day 1: Family

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Family is always at the top of the list of good things for me. I’ve been married for 20 years, and with the same for 25, or will be in December.

That partner and I have three incredible children who have given my life more meaning, and more lessons than I ever could possibly have imagined before the first one came along. I still learn from them daily, and they’re certainly the center of my life.

But family is more than just one you create by having children. Family includes the one you were born into, as well. I love my parents, and I have expressed that in different ways over the years, sometimes better than others, but I hope more consistently lately. Sometimes it’s human nature that understanding comes very late in the process. Sometimes it’s too late. Mom and Dad are still with us, and I have the expectation (or maybe hope) that we can still measure how long I’ve got with them in decades.

I should add I’m grateful for my sister, too. We’ve never really gotten along for more than sporadic moments here and there. We’re very different, and we see the world in very different ways, and that’s okay. She’s my sister. She’s married as well, so my family’s bigger by a brother-in-law and a nephew, both of whom I’m rather fond of.

Extended family is anywhere. Uncles and aunts, grandparents, cousins, almost more types of relatives and there are words for. And all of the people they marry, or decided to partner with, and their kids, and so on.

And then there’s the family we choose. Close or dear friends, however you choose to phrase it, count as family, too.

Companion animals, because they definitely count as family. It’s not the same kind of relationship, but they are part of your life, part of your existence. It’s entirely possible, even likely, that you’re closer to your pets than you are to some human family members, so they certainly count.

I love my family, every member of it, collectively and as individuals. I’m very grateful to have them all.

Be well, everyone.

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