>This Thing Called Family


It’s the middle of a mediocre week for me. Subsequent to the madness of last week, this week has been one of interesting observations and very deep, all consuming, introspective thoughts.

One recurring thought centers around this thing we call family and how the very core of its hardy foundation is exclusively contingent upon a delicate balance of dynamics; characters, roles and themes. I’m not really sure what role I’d like, but know that I’m struggling miserably to play the part in which I’ve been historically cast. Yet, the show must go on. Hmmdo you play yourselves in your families’ performance of This Thing Called Family?

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  1. Kala Pohl Studio says:

    >It is like a movie, isn’t it? With everyone playing a part:) When things get complex in my family, I remember what a good friend says – it is not your movie. Stop playing that role and audition for a new one:):)

  2. >my family has constructed some sort of role for me based on my lifestyle choices and their (in my opinion) flawed or insufficient perceptions of that lifestyle. then they don’t understand when my actions are not consistent with those constructs. *shrug* i just do my thing and all the rest proceeds as it will.

    i do know what you mean, though. i get an ear full of my family’s latest dramatic episode weekly if not daily from my mother….everyone assuming their appropriate roles and such. it’s quite interesting how it all works.

  3. >My family has given me the dubious honor of the “fixer”. I think it started when the kids were little. I was a very good listener…and I actually still am today. Therefore, I hear it all…the good, the bad and the ugly. At times it is overwhelming. They just know that whatever the problem is, even if I can’t fix it, I will tell them it is going to be okay and they believe me and life goes on. The problem is…who the hell is my “fixer”? Who can I run to with my tales of woe? I think I am not allowed to have any woe…because that would indicate a weakness and the fixer cannot be weak. So each day I put on this smile and make my happy face and I pick those up who are down and somehow in doing so…I am able to “fix” myself as well.

  4. Jewelry Rockstar says:

    >I wrote an article about this a few years back. "Wanna hear it, here it go…".


  5. Caroline D. says:

    >sometimes those family roles are such a trap! Hard to see, too. Good for you for taking time to think about what you really want to be. 🙂

  6. >I no longer feel the need to play a role. I’ve bowed out at the last show and now only do sporadic guest appearances. I’m a much happier person because of it.

  7. lori vliegen says:

    >as with most things in life, the best thing to always do is follow your heart! 🙂

  8. MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner says:

    >There are times I’m happy to play the part, but there are days when I want to grab the remote and turn that particular flick off. It can be exhausting, playing the part, for sure.

  9. shiborigirl says:

    >Yes, it is so painful to be cast into a role you might not have chosen for yourself. So painful to try to break out of it and slip into one you’d rather have.

    I feel it in my own family. When my brother and I visit my mother, he still goes out of his way to push those old teenage buttons. At the age of 50, I’d like to think I can rise above it, and thereby alter his own trouble making role in our family. But it’s at a great cost to me, when all I want to do is smack him for it.

    I wish you luck, and a better half of this week…


  10. High Desert Diva says:

    >Copy Fly Tie’s first paragraph for my family’s interpretation of me….

    Crazy, isn’t it?

  11. Ms. Bar B: says:

    >It gets to be very frustrating when family doesn’t seem to understand that life is a continuum. Sometimes “we” grow and they don’t, and that can be hard to accept at times.

    I think I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to mold myself into “that role”, and struggling to get outside of the box at the same time. The old game of wanting to be included, but also wanting to exclude yourself from traditions, flawed belief systems, circular life patterns, and then being excluded from “the family” because you want to grow, venture out, make life elsewhere, etc… Now that its time for me to be “me”, I don’t really know how, you know?

    I think that at the end of the day, you have to play the role that fits for YOU not for them, AND remember that we are allowed to play more than just one role at a time.

  12. A Cuban In London says:

    >This thing called family chases after me everywhere, so, i commiserate with you, my dear.

    Greetings from London.

  13. Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat says:

    >I think those of us who grew up in a nightmare are very conscious that we construct a "part" for ourselves in this thing we call our life.

    I have spent the past 24 years constructing a leading lady role as wife & mother. I think I've done a pretty good job of it, but I suppose that is up to my children to interpret.

    I will always be a mother of course, but the demands are considerably less than a days worth of energy these days…

    I am in the midst of reinterpreting this role and I think I am floundering. I do not play the lady of leisure very well, but I have no particular desire or need to revisit the career woman & wife role either.

    I'll keep you posted.

  14. >That is an interesting take on life… but yeah… I do play a role in this thing called family! Or more than one, depending on which “part” of the family and if it’s in my own home or outside of my home! THanks for the new perspective!

  15. JillHannah says:

    >Every so often you write things that make me think, “our inner selves could be BFFs.” For whatever reason, this is one of those posts. I can’t even answer the question you pose, but it’s the way you think…it feels familiar. Less frazzled, perhaps, but familiar. Funny, considering I’m 26, single, childless, and a blonde demi-Jew.

    Happy random Friday.

  16. >Thought provoking post. I don’t have a “roll” in any part of our families that I’m not comfortable with. However, I would definitely say that they don’t bring out the best in me. My spiritual and creative side is suppressed-way suppressed because it’s just too much for most of them. I do wonder how much of this is my perception (misperception) because I too have probably put them in a roll that I won’t let them out of.

  17. Renée aka Mekhismom says:

    >I think because I have a relatively small family there is not much drama now. And ideas that they had of me when I was younger have now been replaced by the adult version of me and I think we get along pretty well.

  18. Amy Bradstreet says:

    >Oh, I’ve been cast as the sensitive, neurotic, self-righteous, needy, possibly lazy, angry, seething, depressed, just-like-your-mother. Yeah. Mostly by my sister who recently de-Facebooked me. Ouch.

    I try to tune it out and for years I’ve struggled. It’s a painful process. And I (and my immediate family and friends) remain completely baffled by this perception of me. ::sigh::

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