I spent this past weekend with my family, throwing an extended birthday party for my mom. It was really a family reunion and I hadn’t seen my aunts, uncle, cousins and their children in six years.
A lot changes in six years. More kids. More
gray silver hair. More life lived.
I’ve changed immeasurably during this time. As we readied my grandparents’ old home for the weekend I began to see this house where I’d spent many happy hours in a new way. Childhood memories and assumptions flooded to the surface and I examined them from a 42-year old perspective, feeling deeply changed and at the same time, hugely comforted. I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and looking through the lens of its camera, began to see familiar objects with new eyes.
I found myself wanting to let go of old patterns and ways of interacting, of old ways of thinking about these people who were an integral part of my growing up but who I rarely see as an adult. Not that those ways were bad, necessarily. It was more that I wanted to stand firmly in the person I am now, rather than being pulled back into the girl I used to be.
Family is good at tugging invisible strings that can make us feel like a tattered marionette, even if they don’t mean to. Family can also envelop us in gifts and warmth, forgiveness and love.
I had a wonderful time this weekend. I feel very lucky to have the family I do. I adore my cousins and gosh, they have cute kids, several of whom I’d never met. And I feel lighter somehow, as though I’ve shed layers of old skin that were unknowingly weighing me down.
As I move into this week of traveling home and preparing for Ada to start second grade, I want to continue to see the world around me, and the world within me, in new ways, with fresh eyes.
I’d love for you to join me.
Is there anything you’ve been able to look at from a different perspective lately? Do you have any specific tools that help you see with new eyes? Please share below if you do!
P.S. There’s something about being around children that helps me see the world from a different perspective. Here’s a photo of Ada and her cousin making shoes out of Jenga pieces that makes me smile.