One of the great pleasures of life is spending time with family members you love and true friends. Not everyone related to you will automatically be someone you enjoy time with but hopefully you get on particularly well with some. We have more control over the choice of people we class as 'friends'. True friends provide many benefits.
Family Sometimes there are people in your immediate or extended family that you don't have a good relationship with. You may be related by 'blood' or they could be in laws or have a 'step' relationship. They may be the partners of a family member. Some people just don't get along because their personalities are too different. Sometimes there are jealousies or a history of something that can't be forgiven and forgotten.
An individual's personality, values, beliefs or over-sensitive nature may make it difficult for them to have a positive relationship with certain people in their life. This can be awkward when there are family gatherings and contact with these people is difficult to avoid.
Okay, so we have acknowledged just because someone is part of your family in some shape or form it doesn't mean they are your bestie. It is to be hoped there are some members of your family that you do look forward to spending time with. These are the people you love and they are there for you. You share a special tie that is different from the connection you have to those you call friends.
I am fortunate to have a close relationship with a number of my extended family on my mother's side. Now I am older I particularly value any opportunity to exchange ideas, memories and observations with those who are in roughly the same age bracket. We talk about our grandmother who was a wonderful person. We share memories of her house where we used to meet up from time to time.
It is interesting to notice particular characteristics in common between some family members. When we talk about events of the past we can fill in details others have forgotten. If we are looking at old photos and the names of our ancestors have not been noted, sometimes one of my cousins can provide valuable information.
There are other people within my extended family I would probably relate well to but distance has prevented us getting to know each other. My father came to Australia from England and I have never met any of his side of the family. However, I have exchanged letters with a couple of them. Currently I have email contact with an auntie, the wife of Dad's youngest brother. Although this is not face to face contact, I derive pleasure from the time I spend reading her emails and looking at the photos she attaches. This helps me fill in a few of the gaps in my knowledge of Dad's side of the family.
Friends I love having coffee or a meal with friends or doing an enjoyable activity together. Over the years I have been fortunate to have many friends. There were those I called my friends when I was a child; school friends, neighbours and the children of my parents' friends. I may have lost contact with them but they hold a special place in my memories.
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There were friends I made when I studied after leaving school and people I worked with in various jobs. Over the decades I have made friends with various neighbours, people I met through social groups and others I came in contact with through my children. Some people are friends for only a short time and others for many years.
Research shows having close social contacts is good for your health. read more It's a great feeling to be in the company of those who support your endeavours and listen to your worries or gripes. Sharing a funny movie or live performance with friends increases the enjoyment.
No matter how busy life is, it is important to make time to spend time with those we value and love. I should add, this includes those furry family members, our pets.