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Chapter 9. The Balance Hand > SUCCESS CARD 45: Family Plan

SUCCESS CARD 45: Family Plan

When we feel off-balance, often all we need to do is reconnect with our family. Not all families are the same. Yours could have only a few members or hundreds. Perhaps you count only immediate family members; others can include pseudofamily: a neighbor always called Grandpa, a babysitter who was more like an aunt, a best friend's parents always considered to be a second set, and so on. Ask yourself: Who composes your family? How often do you connect with them? What is the quality of your relationships? A truly dysfunctional relationship demands professional help. Most families are able to weather the storms together and stay healthy and strong throughout the years. Taking the time to reconnect and stay in touch can help you feel grounded and secure, two qualities that are especially important to someone looking to make a move at work or in life. What can you do to keep the lines of communication open with family members? What can you do to make your relationships even stronger?

“I learned about myself through my Dad's writings.”

My dad was an amazing man. He came to America from Lithuania after losing his family in the Nazi death camps. He arrived in a strange country and didn't speak the language. He spent his life going from job to job, although his dream was always to be a teacher. He wasn't able to achieve that, but he really pushed me to go into teaching. During my college years, I took a class on genealogy, and it was the greatest class I ever took. I learned so much about my family's history and began to understand why my father was the way he was. I had insight now into the relationships he had with other relatives and why some were happy and some were strained. My dad finally earned his college degree at age 75 and, when he died at 79, he was just two credits short of earning his master's degree in history. My mom recently came across a box of his college papers and, yesterday, my family went through them together. Most of the papers were for a psychology class he took for which he had to write about topics such as his family and his parenting style. That was an eye-opening experience; to be able to hear in my father's own words how he viewed himself and his family. He wrote about my twin and me and I could see how differently he viewed the two of us. The things he said were very true. It probably had the most impact on my college-age son. John became very excited when he read through the papers—and he read every single one. He realized how much he and his grandfather were alike, beyond the fact that they both majored in history. He kept saying, “Grandpa and I think just alike!” It all came through in Dad's writing. John felt a real connection with him. He also said, “I'm not alone.” It was a very emotional evening for all of us and I'm so thankful we have these writings from Dad. What a treasure.

Rosalie, arts marketing company president



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