Reasons To Reconnect With Family
I’ll admit that I have some relatives I’m way overdue to visit. Maybe we just gravitate more towards the relatives that are closer to our age, share our interests, or just have similar lifestyles as our own. I, for example, am unmarried, do not have children, live in the city, and enjoy a cocktail from time to time. The relatives I really should visit live in sprawling suburbia, are married, all had multiple kids by age 27, and are sober. Perhaps, all of that in mind has made me hesitant to pay them a visit. I just think about being woken up at the crack of dawn by toddlers and having to hide whiskey in my room. But, maybe time with relatives isn’t supposed to be about just getting to do things the way I normally would, back in my own life. Maybe it’s about embracing their life. In honor of the recent National Visit Your Relatives Day, here are reasons to reconnect with distant relatives.
You may have more in common than you know
You are related, after all. You may think you have nothing in common with your distant relatives and then you may just find that you share a passion for a rare hobby with one of them, of you just have a disposition similar to one of them. Finding these similarities has a way of making, well, you make more sense to you. It’s genetic!
There is always an instant comfort
Even if you’re not best friends right away, there is a built-in comfort there. Family wants to embrace each other—it’s in their DNA. With friends, you require extreme compatibility but with blood relatives, not so. It’s all about accepting the differences. There’s a warm feeling in that.
They know the family history
Your distant relatives may know some family history that you don’t. They may be able to fill in the missing pieces of your family puzzle. Maybe they learned things that your parents or grandparents didn’t.
Who knows how you might help each other?
There’s no network like your family. Family wants to help one another. Who knows how you may help each other with your careers, your health, your love life…the possibilities are endless. Who knows what skills your family may share with you or whom they may introduce you to?
You’ll always have a place to stay
It’s nice to know you always have a place to stay in your family’s town when you visit. That means not paying high hotel fees and…just not feeling totally lonely in a foreign city.
You always have a place to escape to
Most importantly, you have a place to escape to. When you want to get the hell out of Dodge, you don’t need to make sure hotel rooms are available elsewhere. You can just go stay with out-of-town family.
You probably love someone in common
Though you may not be super close with this distant family, you may have someone in common with whom you’re close. Maybe these distant relatives are also close with that one cousin you’re close to. That has a way of bonding you.
The world feels a bit smaller
The world can feel overwhelming and even cold at times. Our happiness is directly connected to our sense of community, and getting to know distant relatives enhances that sense of community.
You may have shared the same pain
Perhaps there was a painful event in the family like a sudden death, an arrest, or an affair. You may have all felt the pain around that. Surprisingly, being with others who were affected by the same tragedy can help you heal your wounds.
They have photos you’ve never seen
This is a fun part: distant relatives have family photos you’ve never seen. These could be of your parents, siblings, cousins, or grandparents. It’s like a window into family life you knew nothing about.
This one may take you by surprise: you may look a lot like one of your relatives. DNA hops around in a funny way like that. You only expect resemblances within immediate family but you may just find that your second cousin’s child looks just like you.
They’ll always forgive you
Family will always forgive you. There’s a lot of beauty in that. If you’re rude, selfish, or short-sighted, they’ll forgive you—they won’t just kick you out of their lives the way friends might.
They’re the best tour guides
Your family will show you around their city. It’s a great opportunity for adventure. But they live in that town so, it’s the insider’s tour. You get to live like the locals do where they live, and experience a different life for a few days.
Laughter with family is the best kind
There’s nothing like laughing with your family. When you’re with family, for some reason, you just laugh a lot—and laughter is so good for you. You just understand each other on a deep level that leads to those great belly laughs.
Family makes the best friends
The nice thing about befriending family is that it’s a low-pressure, low-key friendship. You can just go over there, plop down on the couch, and hang out, with no real plan in mind.