Week #42 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Family Time!”

Rob with Auntie Mary on her 100th Birthday!  (photo credit: Grace Church)

With Auntie Mary on her 100th Birthday! (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #42 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Family Time!”

(Or…as Rob would say it…”Faaaaaamily time!”)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and welcome to week three of our Summer Fun Challenge!

This weekend we celebrate Independence Day!  So it’s a little ironic that this week’s topic is about “family time”.  But stick with me…because it’s not what you might think!

Many of you have mentioned to me that “time with family” is on your summer fun list.  I understand!  I’m blessed with a family that I actually enjoy spending time with — so I totally get it.  But for many people, family time can be stressful or toxic or just downright harmful.  For those people, family time is not fun time.  It’s a fearful and confusing time.  And yet — there may be obligations that force some togetherness.  What then?

Here’s a few (probably overly simplistic) tips to a pretty complex problem:

First — feel free to decline.  We have a great family unit and there were many times that Rob would miss things in order to go do the things he wanted to do most.  Who knew that he would be SO right to spend each and every day doing exactly as he wished?!  Your life is short and precious…do what you need to do to make yourself happy.  You’re the only one who will have to answer for it in the end.

Second — if you absolutely have to accept an invitation, at least acknowledge to yourself that it is an obligation.  Just shedding light on the difference between something you WANT to do and something you HAVE to do can bring some relief.  We all have things we have to do — and we manage to do them anyway.  Stepping back to assess the situation may give you the space you need to protect yourself, see things objectively, or steer clear of any hot topics!

Third — set a time limit.  I’ve heard more than one story of people who have learned to set a time limit for family gatherings.  One person I follow knows that three hours is it — and sets his watch to it.  He doesn’t announce it to everyone — but he’s managed to find a window that works for him to get in, get caught up, and get out while he still loves everyone!

Finally — if you have a happy family unit, share it with someone!  😉

This week’s assignment: Enjoy your “family time!”  That means — think about the amount of time necessary for you to actually enjoy being with your family.  For some — it’s never enough.  If that’s you, count your blessings and share your happiness with others!  For others — never sounds just about right.  If so, my heart is with you.  I know this is seriously complex stuff.  Mourn your loss.  Love them from afar.  And still — share your happiness with others!  For the rest — it might just mean getting up an hour before the kids go bonkers, or stopping to work out before you get home from the job, or making sure you have that afternoon nap you really enjoy on a Saturday (even when company is over!).

Keep Summer-time Fun Time!  ENJOY yourself — and your family!

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!  How do you make sure you enjoy “family time?”

7/3/15 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

PS: Our FUN LIST is still growing!  I’ll keep adding your ideas to the list — and pick one at random for each weekly challenge.  Keep ’em coming!!!

– “One Tank Trips”
– Surprise trip for spouse or loved one
– Kayaking
– Beach time
– BBQ’s
– Tourist for the day in nearby city
– Walking the boards
– Rock climbing
– Scuba diving
– Touring an estate
– Time with family
– Sitting on the porch
– Watching for rainbows
– Learning to surf
– Gardening
– Writing a book
– Working on a “summer” project
– Moving to a new town
– Planning a spa day (or half-day, or even lunch hour)
– Taking Fridays (or Mondays) off!
– Day at the ballpark (Minor League stadiums are great, too!)
– Outside concerts/music events
– Hot air balloon ride/festival
– Pool volleyball (a Church-family classic!)
– Take yourself or someone you love for ice cream!
– Weed your front yard garden (and talk with neighbors and folks walking by!)
– Lose yourself in wonderful music, either listening or singing
– Play in the grassy backyard
– Play with your dog (or maybe your neighbor’s dog!)
– Sing karaoke
– Explore your town, county, state…through food and drink!
– Visit a farm
– Make plans to see friends you don’t often get to see (or schedule a gathering!)
– Blind-folded Make-overs!  (Great for a rainy day!  Bonus points if you go out in public after!)

(What are we missing?  Send me your ideas and I’ll add them to the list!)

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