With Memorial Day commemorated earlier this week, the summer season is now unofficially open – the barbeque is back in service at home and families are beginning their annual trips to the beach. Yet even with the shift to summer fun, there are still lessons we can take from the combat veterans we honored on Memorial Day. As we respect their unique bravery and reflect on the ideals of service, courage and camaraderie, we can apply these principles to those closest to us.
If you’re a Sandwiched Boomer, stressed by the responsibilities of caring for aging parents and growing children, you may feel like there’s no time to step back and take a deep breath. When you do, here are some things to keep in mind as you enrich your family relationships:
Recognize the importance of revealing the love you have for each other. Those who have been in harm’s way know the meaning of the words, “it’s too late.” Don’t put off sharing your love; decide to make it a priority. Each day, acknowledge those you love, and who love you, as if it were your last. The joy you create and receive in your close relationships can sustain you through hard times. You can find out more about the value of these positive connections on the Authentic Happiness website.
Express the gratitude you feel for what your family has given you – protection, opportunities, love, strength, enjoyment of life. You have doors open to you now because of them. This can begin with something as simple as a heartfelt “thank you,” and develop into a more textured and thoughtful recognition of what you are grateful for. Begin by taking the steps to express your gratitude – it benefits both you and the loved ones you single out to thank.
Understand the value of friendship. Those in the Service have trusted and leaned on each other as they’ve shared their experiences and relied on their camaraderie. Know that we are here to take care of our friends and family – close and extended – difficult though it may be at times. Friendship is the gift we give ourselves and each other. It helps each of us achieve a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life.
Community support is there for the taking when you know how to ask for it. On Monday, we highlighted organizations providing support to Servicemen and -women. Be open to the reality that you too might need to utilize the input and generosity of others. You are not diminished when you allow another to help you.
To read stories of modern day heroes and how they coped with challenges in their lives, click on the email list box to the left. You can sign up there for our monthly newsletter, Stepping Stones, and receive a complimentary copy of our ebook, Courage and Lessons Learned, which showcases tips and strategies to use in your own family.