May 14 2010
One would think that family life should be about joy and loving relationships. It’s supposed to be about getting together and watching people grow up. It’s about sharing your lives with your loved ones. Actually, that’s how it should be. What is it realistically? One big pile of judgments and etiquette. There’s so much “this is the right way to do things” going on that I feel sometimes the real focus, people, gets lost in the shuffle.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. I love spending time with people. But the amount of stress that goes along with it? Sometimes it can be very overbearing.
I’ve decided to make a few rules about how families should function that would take out some undue stress….
No More Presents
Can you imagine how amazingly smooth families would be in a life without presents? No judgments because so and so didn’t get a good enough gift. No more stressing out because you have to ask 16 people what this person would want for their birthday. Presents easily account for 10% of family stress. Knock out presents and you just focus on the people which is what is supposed to matter.
One Decided Location for Holidays Every Year
“Where is it this year?” “What do I bring?” “Do we really have to go there?” I can’t tell you how annoying it is to have to “figure out” everything. If I knew every year dinner would be on this date at this time life would be a whole lot easier with my family.
Time Limits on Functions
I think that every single family dinner or function should be a like a planned party. Come no later than x time and leave no earlier than x time. Then I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about leaving early and like shit for having to stay for so long. Just tell me beforehand what my time limit is and I’m 100% good to go. No excuses. Just get it done.
Phone Call Limits
The less you talk to someone on the phone the less chance there is of stress. Let’s say you only talk once a week. In that week you actually miss the person. If you talk every day then you run the risk of talking about really meaningless stuff and that’s just a waste of time.
Rotation of Payments at Restaurant Dinners
“I got it!” “No, I got it.” I swear to God every single dinner lasts an extra 15 minutes because of the bill. Use a simple rotation system and you have no problems.
Even More Uncoachable Stuff