Tag Archives: brother

Life is the Messy Bits

Standard

redhead family

This past weekend was Family Day weekend.  That actually makes no sense, as Family Day is a day and I just referenced it as a weekend…however, we had the Monday off as it was Family Day.  In essence, this created a long weekend.  Phew, thank god I clarified that.

I, for one, actually spent the entire weekend with my actual family.  The whole lot of them.  A night with my brother, his kids, my other brother and his common-law lady, both their dogs and two cats.  I then proceeded to drive another 2 hours to visit my parents and third brother’s homes.  I saw my mom, my dad, my brother’s new wife, his kids, his step-kids, his ex-wife, her boyfriend, three dogs and even my new sister-in-law’s father and step-mother. Finally, I finished the night off texting with good friends and cuddling with my cats.

Family is a big, messy, complication nowadays.  There is rarely such a thing as the nuclear family and there are few expectations of happily ever after.  Hell, I have friends who only went to see other friends and probably count them closer to family then they do their own siblings.  Like Modern Family, there is no one way to have a family now.  Like The New Normal, there is no normal anymore.

I know for me – well, my sister-in-law, my common-law sister-in-law, my new sister-in-law and even my ex-sister-in-law are all important people in my life.  The ex is the closest thing that I’ve ever had to a sister and in a weird way her boyfriend is like my brother-in-law.  And the new additions to my brother’s family?  Well, those would now be my niece and nephew.

There is no wrong way to have a family.  At least not in my books.  So, go out and appreciate yours, whatever version that may be.  Don’t feel guilty for enjoying time with them and don’t feel guilty for not enjoying time with them…just remember there is no real expectation anymore and you shouldn’t feel bad for who you love…or are forced to tolerate.

So, embarassingly enough, like Erma Bombeck says,  “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”

The Ginga Ninja

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Life Less Extraordinary

Standard

Does normal exist anymore?  In fact, did it ever?  I once heard a good quote, “Normal people are just people you don’t know very well yet”.  Once upon a time, the world existed in the mindset that everybody was normal, lived a normal life, wore normal clothes, and only hippies, radicals, and the like stood out from this crowd.  I think nowadays the message to be unique and be yourself has people wondering what that self is.  If we are all trying to find ourselves, and stand out with our unique talents and beliefs…isn’t trying to be unique now the new normal, and trying to be normal, the new stand out?

I come from a family of four kids.  Four very successful and very different kids…but, when young we all strived to have the same goals, same achievements, same wealth, and same standards of life. And now as adults, none of us are living identical lives.  Not all good, not all bad, not all of our choices are the right ones in hindsight, but we are all living within today’s standards of “normal”, which are frankly, well… none.

I had a recent discussion with my brother, where I said, “You know, in the eyes of what is considered traditionally normal, you are the only one of us living that life”.  He has 3 kids, 2 cats and dog, an addition on his house, has been married to the same woman for 10 years, loves golfing, going to cottages, planning vacations, and having backyard barbecues.  In the eyes of what my parents dreamed for us, he is living that dream.  Well, unless you count the Tiki Bar and Jimmy Buffet obsession…

I, on the other hand, have lived another life that though many people envy, has been frought with ups and downs, mainly based on my own fears of perpetually striving to improve, or having false assumptions that I was meant for something more than all those ‘normal’ kids.  That I, of all people, truly was special.  My measures of failure have been unrealistic, and my hopes and dreams have at times been abnormally big.  However, look at my photos, hear my stories, and imagine you are living my life….and you too will think I’ve lived the dream.  At least an interesting version of it.

Though I don’t have regrets (most of the time), I do have a newfound respect and love for my brother and his happiness in the simple things.  As I get older I want to remember life how I did when I was younger. I strive to have quiet nights, joy in the small stuff and an appreciation of the people and things in my life.  Not to mention that I sort of now love who I am more for my failures and epiphanies than my quote-on-quote “successes”.  I’m tired of struggling and striving and trying to be who I thought I should be…and am just excited to be who I am.  Or at a minimum continuing to figure out who that is.  I’m tired of making big plans, and ready to make little ones…because life is marathon, not a sprint my friend.

It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions. – Ben Stein

The Ginga Ninja

Depends on your definition of “problem”…

Standard

So, I think I’m developing a drinking problem.  Well, I guess the real problem is that my brother made this suggestion. If it were secret it wouldn’t be a problem, just a secret.  I must admit I didn’t deny, simply agreed and added the words  “right now”.  Is it a problem if you are enjoying it and it makes all TV a little funnier, all songs a little more meaningful, and all food taste a little better?  I like to think of it as life improver in a bottle.

The problem maybe is the financial aspect…or the potential of weight gain. But, c’mon….they say that a glass of wine a night is good for the heart.  I think the key is to verify the size of that glass.  For any Cougar Town lovers, I’m giving a call out to Big Joe (RIP) and his successor, Big Carl.  The other issue is probably to ensure that when you go for that second glass you don’t convince yourself that the first was only a half.  Guilty.

But, seriously folks, a glass (maybe) two is fine a night…or every other night…it’s probably more than our siblings, or neighbours, or friends openly admit to drinking, but as a single person what am I really worried about?  My brother eats buckets of chicken, tomato tomato.  Wow, that is not the same in copy as it is in speech.  To clarify.  “TOE-MATE-TOE”, “TOM-A-TOE”.  Probably not any better.

What I CAN say is that my internet friend here, Quintas may be overdoing it.  His question: “Is a bottle of wine per night gonna destroy my liver?”  My favourite answer may simply be, “Well, you may be an alcoholic, but you’ve got class my friend”.

Soak it in….well, you may be an alcoholic, but you’ve got class.  You’ve….got…class.

The Ginga Ninja