Family is everything. Family is more than friendship. Family is the only group of people who you have in your life since the day you were born. “They” say don’t ever take your family for granted. I wholeheartedly believe in that. No matter how far away you might live from your family members - whether it’s 15 minutes, or 15 hours - never lose contact with your family members. Having friends is great; but friendships can end at any time. Although family members may fight at times, they’re still your family. Cherish them all the time. Keep in touch with them.
I’ve always been family oriented. I love my family, even though we might not always see eye to eye. But that’s ok. It’s ok for family members to disagree with each other from time to time. Some of the best advice I have been given has been from some of my family members. I appreciate them now more than ever.
My family has always been there for me no matter what. They haven’t always agreed with some of the things I’ve done in life, but that doesn’t mean that they love me any less. Make sure to always make time for your family. Put family ahead of your friends. Put family ahead of your volunteer work. Put family ahead of your job. Put family ahead of your career. Family will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be there for you when the times are tough - even if they can’t be physically there for you - they will be there in other ways, whether it's a phone call, a text, an email, a surprise card/gift in the mail. Family is forever.
Sometimes life gets in the way of family. When you see that starting to happen, you need to ask yourself what’s more important. I know these days it’s so easy to get tunnel vision and allow our jobs and careers take over our lives. Why? Why would anyone let a company who would replace you tomorrow, control your life? We need to change the way we live our lives. Yes, money is important in order to afford the basics, but do we really need all of the extravagants? Personally, I live pretty simple. I don’t make a lot of money. If there’s something “extravagant” that I really want, I can’t just afford to go buy it; I need to save for it first and then decide if I really want to splurge for it. But anyway, all of those things should be secondary in life. Family should always be first in your life.
I put family first as much as I can. Even if all I can do is send a text, at least my family knows I’m there for them from a distance since I can’t actually be there with them. Sometimes we have no choice but to miss family gatherings - because unfortunately that’s just the way life works. It’s sad really, and I really think that needs to change. We need to cherish our family. We can’t take them for granted. We need to make every effort to make sure that family stays in our lives.
When family members give you advice, don’t be so quick to ignore it. Hear what they’re saying, they might be looking at the situation from a different perspective than you are. Really think about what they say. If you have questions about what is recommended, ask. Family looks out for family. Families should want to see their relatives be as successful as possible. Don’t be jealous of your family members; be happy for them instead. Encourage them to do their best. Encourage them to follow their dreams, even if it seems like a far-fetched dream. Don’t discourage your relatives. If you disagree with what they’re doing, voice your opinion and why you disagree; but if it’s something that they really want to do, then just stand behind them quietly. Don’t say “I told you so” when someone doesn’t take your advice and things don’t go as they had planned. Instead, encourage them to try something else that they enjoy.
I know I rambled on and got off track a little bit, but my point is this: always be there for your family. Don’t push your relatives away. In reality, family is all we really have in this journey called life. Yes, we have friends. Yes, very few of those friends will become like family to the point that you invite them to “family only” gatherings. But the family that you grew up in - that’s your actual family. Keep them in your life. Cherish the moments you spend with them. Don’t take them for granted. Call/text/email them just to say “hi.” Let them know that you miss them and love them. Family is forever.