Building Your "Version" of Family

Last Saturday ended on a beautiful note.  It ended in a way that restored my faith in the Universe and in Spirit.  Let me explain. It was a day full of endless errands and my to-do list: cleaning, meal planning and shopping.  As the day wore on, my energy felt more and more depleted. There were people running stop signs, flipping people off and just energy all around that felt off kilter.  During all of this, I was getting more and more text messages from family members.  It was almost like they all decided to reach out on the same day.  I was feeling like the information booth at the rest-area.  When is so and so's graduation, what are the emails for these relatives, and on and on.  I stopped and thought to myself, how exactly did I get to be the information booth for my extended family?  On one hand, great, I'm happy to help.  However, on this particular day I was feeling depleted. It got me thinking about how my role in my family has changed.  I have become the "different one".  Can you relate?  Are you the one in your family who is bucking trends and deciding to reach outside the box to figure things out and not repeat family patterns?  If so, you know how gratifying yet exhausting it can be.

Awhile ago, I changed from being the one with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to the one who started saying no.  I started saying no to things and family events that I knew would again, deplete my energy.  I realized that it is okay to say no to some things.  If something didn't feel right or would take me away from my immediate family, I was going to say no.  Well, you can imagine how this was met.  It was and still is a bone of contention amongst certain family members.  I'm starting to see, though, that they take it personally.  If I say no to something they invited me to, they think it must be about them.  It must be something they did wrong.  Hate to burst your bubble, but it probably has nothing to do with you.  It has to do with me and keeping myself healthy either financially or physically.

Since I have started to say no, certain things have started to happen.  I feel liberated.  I feel healthier and I am happier.  That day, however, I had a back slide.  One that made me feel as if saying no was somehow wrong.  Maybe saying no is something that would be causing me guilt.  After all, I'm told, it's family and you have to go.  I wallowed for all of about two hours and worked through it all using both energy techniques and meditations that I have learned.  I got back on track and realized that it really is okay to say no.

Once I was back on track, I started down a path of feeling some grief.  After all, my family doesn't seem to be the Norman Rockwell version that America seems to think we all need. I realized that I don't really have a close relationship with any of my four siblings.  We are in five different states for a reason.  We have nothing in common.  We all have different interests, different families and different ways of life.  While that might seem sad, I was reminded today that I have made (and am still making) my own version of family.  I have wonderful friends and a great group of like-minded folks that I am growing to know and love.

That day ended on a great note that made me feel warm and cozy and that the Universe had my back.  A wonderful couple who I have met recently (they reside in Arizona) were in Utah for a family event.  They went out of their way (mind you, they were traveling with kids and grandkids) to meet up with me long enough for ten minutes of chat and some warm hugs.  They went out of their way for me.  I can't begin to tell you how much that gesture meant to me, especially that day when I was processing some grief. Thank you both!!

I wish you all a happy, healthy tribe around you.  If that includes your family, kudos to you.  If you have worked to create your own family, even more kudos.  Know that you are not alone in your path to your "family".  I am living it too.

Until My Next Adventure,

P.A. Walker

Are you ready to say yes to your soul by shifting your perspective to create something extraordinary? I invite you to contact me via email at to schedule a complimentary 30 minute consultation to discuss how we can work together to make your second half of life better than your first.

Please also follow me on my Facebook Page: The Second Half or via Twitter (Patricia A. Walker@50foraYear).

Ali Wright

Hi! I'm Ali, a website and brand designer based in Salt Lake City/Park City, Utah. I help business owners and entrepreneurs like you to stand out from the crowd with expert branding/logo design and website design. I develop creative and effective branding design that distinctly reflects your unique identity. Design is my passion, and I strive to continually infuse that passion in to the work I create.