The holidays have arrived and with them comes the inevitable family tension. My little family is in the middle of of some growing pains right now and probably will be for some time. I think that is just a fact of life when you are starting your life with someone and merging two families. My friend Greg has been going through family drama for the last four or five years. And I'm always relieved I don't have to go through that since I really only have two people in my immediate family. But there are still adjustments to be made. My mom, Gary and I are all pretty strong-willed independent people who are set in our ways. We all like things "just so." I think I'm the luckiest of the three because I'm the youngest. That makes me the most flexible. But I have lived alone for eight years and it will be very hard to live with someone. Obviously, I will have to adapt and adjust. Gary has lived alone for over ten years. He's very much a bachelor-type who has a set routine and lives very simply. Without a lot of "stuff." I happen to like "stuff." It comforts me and makes me happy to be surrounded with things that prompt happy memories. When I sit in my Grandfather's chair I am reminded of him and all the times he used to rock me in that chair. When I lay in bed covered by my grandmother's quilt or when I cook using some of her cooking stuff, I think of her and the good times we spent together. It is very meaningful to me.
Gary and my Mom are very similar people. So, of course, they are bound to butt heads occasionally. But it is my fondest wish that they become friends and learn to care about each other. And how to adapt to each other's quirks. Just as I will have adapting to do as well.
It's going to be a long difficult process. But I think we can do it. Maybe it's the "peacemaker" in me. I just like people to get along and when they don't it makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cover my ears. Seriously. I have never dealt with conflict well between people that I care about. I tend to internalize it and make myself sick over it. But I feel certain that we will come out of the other side of this transition period as a family.
For those of you who have gotten married and been through the whole "blending families" process, any suggestions or thoughts? I'm sure Frank's readers probably would have a few.