Thursday, 12 September 2013
Having the family over always brings “mixed feelings”. You are happy and excited to seeing them after a long period of time but deep down you know there will be “situations”.
I saw my mother last year, but hadn’t seen my sister and her family for over 3 years.
I used to believe my family was “quite standard”, but more and more, every time I’m with them, I am… let’s say… confused.
After living over 24 years abroad, you might agree with me that it is quite of a challenge to fit within your family “expectations”. Even worse considering that in fact they only expect you to be… the same.
After 24 years???!!!!
Anyway, I was going to be meeting my niece and my nephew again, and was excited about it. Being with kids is always “refreshing” and “revitalising” - considering the amount of energy they require from you, mentally and physically – and for their clear and straight-to-the-point remarks which make you questioning yourself; “where and when did I lose such spontaneity? Is that still recoverable?”
Family arrived, no majors, after the first updates, let’s plan for the holidays.
Surprise, surprise, they had made no plans. They came so see me! Great! I was really grateful and happy for that but, they would be on holidays for almost a month! Well... I had to plan their holidays for them. They didn't have the slightest idea of what could interest them doing or seeing.
Ok. Few ideas were put in place: Hiking tours, swimming on the lake, cycling tours, visiting little charming Swiss towns… and plans run smoothly for a while, I must say. Well, at least until when they decided to pay a visit to the “Blameland”!
You know Blameland, don’t you? Most families I know, and in fact, most people I know visit it quite often, and depending on the moment they are living they can stay there for a quite long period of time.
The problem with the Blameland is, once you’re there it is quite difficult to get out, let’s face it.
I’ve been there for long periods of time long time ago; mostly when I was a teenager. In fact, it seems to attract loads of them. However, there was a period of time in my adulthood that I used to hang around there in different intervals. Until one day I decided that Blameland was not for me anymore. It got too… let’s say… repetitive and unhealthy. I realised I didn’t connect to those visitors anymore. Ok, I can reveal that I had my Blamelandsick moments, but I knew it was not good for me to be there anymore. I had to “let it go”.
The problem with Blameland’s visitors is – and I can tell from my own experience – once you get hooked to it, you bring it with you everywhere you go! You can’t really feel at home outside of it, and for that, you try to recreate it everywhere you go. A real drag….
So, there was the situation, my family and Blameland in one pack. I was surprised to be confronted with it again - I mean Blameland - after not been there for quite a while; and I was also surprised to see how fast it was brought to life by my family.
I was very uncomfortable confronting with Blameland again to be honest, and tried by all means to give my family other alternatives of places to visit. It worked ok for a short while but, they had “this thing” with Blameland and it was not that easy to make them look around and appreciate other alternatives.
And because each person usually has its favourite place in Blameland – my family couldn’t be different - as you might guess, each one’s place is usually better than the other one. So… it is quite difficult to beat Blameland’s attractions. If you have been there, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I tried it. In fact I tried hard to not get involved on those disputes because, at the end of the day, I haven’t visited Blameland that often anymore and want to keep it that way; therefore I’m not really interested on what it has to offer. To be honest, I avoid it, at all costs.
My last experiences there were not positive and at that time I made the decision that I should move on and look for other possibilities because I had this deep feeling that there were better places in this world and in life to be in; and I was dam right!
Believe me, there are plenty of them. Much better, healthier, richer and more pleasant than Blameland. But I suppose that not visiting Blameland for good is a very personal decision; and although it has a deceitful propaganda - once you stop visiting it you can see it clearly - its marketing seems to be quite good – follow the trend!
Well, as for my family, it was clear to me that no matter other alternatives I gave to them, they enjoyed them for a while but there was nothing comparable to Blameland.
As some people might say “there is no place like home”… as for my family that was home! Because, somehow, Blameland is still the place they feel comfortable to be in.