Christmas is the time of the year when being alone gets magnified. I am separated and my only child is abroad. At my age, and by choice, I can count the number of friends I consider family in one hand. They have gone through fire like me.
I have siblings but we’re not close. They’re all middle-aged but have not grown up intellectually. What’s sad is they have passed on their materialistic and shallow characters to their children.
We may belong to one family, but we might as well be strangers to each other. They speak the language of intolerance that I cannot relate to. I always find myself empty and longing to get away when we are together. I’m invited to their gatherings and, of course, that will be a good time for me to go out of town.
I’m told that I have no sense of family. Is being related by blood truly a reason to be family?—Stranger
Blood relatives often have nothing to do with family, someone said. We came into this world alone, and will have to leave alone, as well. To be in the company of relatives should be by choice, not by guilt. Your incompatibility with them will not be the first to happen in a family, nor will it be the last. Clearly, your destinies forked along the way and each pursued different tacks according to your individual inclinations.
If you don’t owe any of them money or favors, be at peace with yourself and do as you please. There’s no law to tie you up with relatives during this time. It’s the season of peace and merriment, remember?
If there’s no peace or merriment in the horizon, stop stressing. Walk away. There’s no sin in that. Anxiety will only give you wrinkles! What’s the fun in that?
Isn’t it far better to be alone, than be with people who’ll make you want to crawl out of your skin? Life is too short to be roiling about relations you have nothing in common with except a name, and possibly toxic to your health.
A philosopher said: “Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.”
But then again, it’s the celebration of the birth of the King of Peace! Won’t it be fun to heed the lyrics of the Christmas song, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me?”