Issue No. 20 | December 3, 2014

Our recent Thanksgiving holiday was one of the best ever. My brother Chuck and his wife Robyn wanted to bring all our family together and made us all an offer we could not refuse. They invited us to spend Thanksgiving week together in Jamaica.

Our families flew in from around the country and stayed at a beautiful villa in Montego Bay. We had a lot to celebrate including birthdays, anniversaries, meeting new relatives and even getting excited about an upcoming wedding. We laughed, cried, hugged, napped, looked at family pictures and shared letters that were 70 years old that came from our parents.

At the end, while it was tough to leave, we were all ready to head home, committed to maintaining our sense of connection and gratitude for each other. We've all returned to our hectic lives but we all seem committed to staying in touch with one another, particularly since we are a far flung family. Here are some ways we're working to keep that family feeling:

  • I've sent some thank you notes out to different family members thanking them for coming and for being so much fun. We talked about "letters" and explained to our millennial relatives about how they are different from email!
  • We set up a photo stream to share pictures and I'm highlighting a few to different relatives to remind them of our good time.
  • I'm already thinking about how I can plan a spontaneous trip to visit one or more of the relatives this winter, particularly those in warmer climates!
  • Making more calls to those relatives we don't get to talk to as frequently.

Family is our greatest resource for comfort, support and building resilience. Find the best way to stay connected to them and you'll be doing a lot more celebrating and experiencing happiness.

© Richard Citrin, 2014

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