Family, Relationships, Vacation

Family is the Best or the Worst

I really don’t think there’s an in-between. A family that isn’t involved is a bad family just as much as ones that are involved in all the wrong ways. Family is a group of people that you are given at birth to be by your side. Neglect can be just as damaging (although in a different way) as abuse and nasty words. Family can be nosey and judgy or loving and supportive. They can be there for you through thick and thin or only give you a call when they need to take advantage of someone.

I am fortunate to have a good family. I have the kind that will not reject me when I do thing that they don’t agree with. Instead of judgement and shunning, I get support or at least an acknowledgement that they are still there. My family has reunions two or three times a year, annoy each other with a big group chat, and like each other’s posts on facebook, twitter, and instagram.

I must attribute some of my success to having such a ready support group. I love that they will support me even when not agreeing or even understanding what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. They trust that it’s what I think is right, they give tons of unasked for advice, and they check in to see how things are working out.

I’m very happy to be at the Christmas reunion right now. We are missing a few family members due to work and surgery, but everyone else made it out and we are having a wonderful time (although I am glad that everyone has finally gone to bed).

What kind of family do you have?

I love to read your musings, stories, opinions, and reflections, so please comment away.

Vacation

Solo Sunset on the Beach

I’m staying in a hotel on the beach for a week, and I just took a lovely stroll along the shoreline during sunset because it looked too beautiful not to. I was also alone, being recently single and not having friends in the area. For a brief moment I thought, “it would be nice to have someone to share this moment with.” Lots of people think that. Lots of people don’t go out and do things if they don’t have someone to go with (which, by the way, going out and doing this is how to meet someone to go out and do things with). I’ll be honest and tell you I almost didn’t go for that walk because I was alone – am alone – and I am so glad I ignored that notion and went anyway, because I often have great moments with myself. Sometimes we can be so wrapped up in ourselves that we miss moments with others. We know this. We understand this concept. What many people don’t realize, however, is that sometimes we can be so wrapped up in spending time with others, that we miss moments with ourselves. Moments with ourselves are fantastic and healthy. Specifically, quiet moments with ourselves where we let our minds wonder and/or just appreciate the beauty of a simple sunset. Yes, it would be nice to again have someone special to share life’s simple moments like those with, but the great thing about a sunset is it happens every day, meaning I will have plenty more beautiful moments to share with myself or someone else. Besides, sometimes sharing a moment with someone else can ruin the moment because they won’t be quiet and just enjoy what’s around them, which is exactly what you’re trying to do, but can’t in their talkative presence. So, if you’re alone, don’t let moments pass by just because you’re afraid of experiencing them without someone special. Experience them. Not only can they be a good way to center yourself, they can be a good way to meet others and make friends. I have found that people are a lot more likely to approach and talk to you if you are not already hanging out and talking with someone else.

In addition to a nice walk on the beach at sunset, I also enjoy knitting, going on nature walks, and working jigsaw puzzles with just myself.

What kind of moments to you enjoy spending with yourself? When was the last time you enjoyed something with just you? Did you enjoy it?

Vacation

Beach Vacation and the Sea Turtle March

I’m on the last day of a week long family vacation on the gulf coast that includes my parents, sister, two of my cousins and one of my aunts. It’s been such a great week! The house we rented is right on the beach and it’s far from the condos and souvenir shops and all that, and the owners had stocked it with games and puzzles and movies as well as boogie boards, castle building stuff, and lounge chairs for the beach. We did a puzzle one night and some of us played Settlers of Catan another night. I got to celebrate my birthday with my family, even though my birthday had been a week earlier. Every morning my mother and I went walking at 6 in the morning and got to see the sunrise. Most morning my aunt joined us (actually she’s usually the one that instigates it, but she didn’t walk 2 of the days) and one of my cousins joined us one morning. It was great since I usually get up at 5am this time, so I was only sleeping in an hour and not throwing off my sleep schedule too much. The beach itself has been wonderful and we usually go for a morning and an afternoon swim. Sadly, though, there hasn’t been much surf, so we didn’t get to boogie board, but the water has been very clear, so we can see any jellyfish before they sting us (we just saw a few sea nettles). One morning we went zip-lining and that was super fun as well as a great work out (lots of stairs). The water today is very calm and clear and we saw a LOT of comb jellies, which look similar to jellyfish, but don’t have any stingers. My cousins and I kept throwing them at each other and it was fun. We also saw a huge moon jelly (I don’t know the average size of these, but this was probably a foot or so in diameter) and a lot of needle fish and other fish swimming around the seaweed. We saw one small stingray and three of  some other type of ray that we have yet to identify. It was all pretty cool.

Probably the coolest part (aside from just being with family in general), was watching some sea turtle conservation volunteers rescue some baby sea turtles. Apparently, when sea turtles hatch, they all stack on top of each other and flap their fins to move up like an elevator as the ones on bottom push up, which means that often the ones on bottom get stuck. Since the sea turtle population is declining due to sea turtles eating plastic that looks like jellyfish (their main food), these volunteers want to get each baby to the water. So, even though 130 eggs were laid and only 10 babies didn’t make it, this group dug up the 10 babies and got them out to sea. They came a few days after the eggs hatched, so to not interfere with the majority of them getting to sea, and dug up the nest (they’ve had the nest blocked off and been monitoring it since they first saw the mama turtle’s tracks in the sand). They carefully pulled out the babies and put them in a bucket and carefully pulled out all the egg shells, and a few whole eggs that didn’t get fertilized, and laid them out in a grid for counting and then I think they took the whole eggs. The babies were placed in a trench that some of the volunteers had dug so they could crawl to the ocean themselves. It was probably the coolest thing I have ever seen on one of our beach vacations (which are annual).

What is one of the coolest things you’ve seen or experienced while on a vacation? I’d love to read any vacation stories you want to share! Any opinions on sea turtle conservation?

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