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State of the Katje: relationship edition

A lot of my time and energy lately have been going to figuring out how to manage and ease my health issues, but that's only part of my life right now. Here's first of a series of posts about other aspects, and ideas about how I'd like to change/develop them over the next year.



Georgia O'Keeffe quote

Relationships: In my experience, it takes about 5-7 years to really get established in a new community, and so these last few years have seen the payoff of all the groundwork I've laid since we moved to Chicago. This neighborhood (Rogers Park) has been a MUCH better fit for us than the previous one (Norwood Park). I now feel like I have a few close local friends I can lean on when things get hairy... I don't necessarily see them daily, but we've established that comfortable and easy friendship that takes a bit of time investment to get to. Most of these are fellow homeschooling moms, but I've also met some terrific folks via the local SCA, my community garden, local puzzle people via Puzzled Pint, local foodies via the LTH Forum, and even a few lovely ladies I've met in the therapy pool.

Bob (what Bill and I call our relationship) hit 17 years on September 17, 2016 (my first marriage ended about two weeks short of 17 years, so as Bill said: HIGH SCORE!). We had kind of a rough patch early this year, which I attribute to stress from my dad's death and the cruise, and Bill was really slammed during the fall quarter, but these last few months have really been wonderful. It's been a little cramped with four of us in this apartment, but we all are working to stay off of each others' nerves. We both are looking forward to being an old married couple together and practice whenever we can. I'd like to continue our current trajectory that direction during 2017 (along with a not-so-secret desire for matching "Yay, Bob!" tattoos).

I have had two relationships this year with elderly people that wound up pushing me into a place where I was feeling taken advantage of (I didn't just walk away from either, though... I made sure they had other helpers, family, public services, etc. on hand, and I didn't burn any bridges, but I had to budget my limited spoons). I seem to have a recurring issue with this kind of thing: trying to help people, then being sucked into a series of draining emotional situations or dramas, and having to extricate myself. Perhaps I was more susceptible to it this year with the older folks, due to my feelings about what happened with my dad (we found out after he'd died that my aunt had manipulated him in ways that must have been excruciating, and I feel a lot of guilt and remorse for allowing it to happen). Something to think about, at any rate.

I feel that I have a good relationship with each of my kids. I'd like to connect with them more often, but I really don't want to push myself into their lives either. If anyone has any great insights on how to nurture a good rapport with adult children, I'd love to hear it (that includes input from both the parent and kid sides of the equation!).

I did break off a number of relationships with people over the election. I'm not proud of this, but I feel a physical disgust and horror with anyone who actually cast a vote for Drumpf. I don't know if those relationships are repairable, or even if I WANT to try to repair them, but it's something I'm going to have to deal with eventually.

Overall, I want to work on pulling back from my online activity, and invest more in my face-to-face connections. I want to develop a practice of kindness towards those around me, and to deepen and nourish the connections I've already made. Bad pain days make me a flake sometimes, which makes things difficult, but in general I feel well-grounded and happy with my relationships.
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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
mh75
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:44 am (UTC)
I think the biggest thing that would help my relationship with my parents would be for them to be more regularly accessible, without actually living with us. (Right now they are far away and hard to visit, except for the month or so that they live with us. Neither really works well for me.) I don't know how to accomplish that, though.

I mention it mostly because this pulling back from on-line activity is always problematic to me because it is through on-line forums that I manage to maintain the relationships I have with people who live remotely.

One of the things i miss about having LJ be active is that I found it to be a much more real, and deep, online conversation than any of the current options.
mamagotcha
Jan. 5th, 2017 01:45 am (UTC)
Part of my problem is that I don't think I had a very good relationship with my parents, and while I think my dad got along well with his folks, my mom definitely did NOT with her mother (her father was killed when she was a pre-teen, and her stepfather died when I was little). Now both of mine are gone, and while I know I can't beat myself up over things I cannot change, I CAN try to step it up for the next generation.

I hear you about online connections! I love that I can be a part of the lives of my friends in Davis and KC, and my family in other states.
rightkindofme
Jan. 5th, 2017 12:52 pm (UTC)

Anything you can find about having relationships with adult children I would love to hear too. My kids are only six and eight but the future is coming whether I like it or not. I have absolutely no experience of maintaining long-term for familial relationships. I'm kind of terrified of the future.

mamagotcha
Jan. 6th, 2017 12:11 am (UTC)
I'll try to remember to come back and share here, if I find anything definitive. But I think you are already on the right track, just by caring about it, and that we both will be fine. Big hugs; I hear how much this is stressing you out, and I have faith that we both will come to a place of peace with our adult offspring.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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