572: Family

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Family can be your greatest treasure and resource, the source of unending strength and encouragement.

Family can be your greatest disappointment, the source of incredible angst and unmitigated pain.

Some family members are the most stalwart, loyal, got-your-back, genuine humans on Earth

and some can’t be trusted as far as you could throw Mount Everest on a clear day.

Some show you a genuine and honest face of acceptance and unending love

others show a mask of genuineness and honesty that is as pretty and as false as a cubic zirconia – and is worth even less.

As you grow older and wiser, you learn to appreciate and honor those who return your love, and to avoid those who don’t.

Even if you gave birth to them.

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184: Friends: More or Less

Some people are genetically programmed to be with, and actually enjoy being with, other people. Others are perfectly content to be less socially engaged. Still fewer are OK avoiding everybody. I am not a hermit, but neither do I actively seek out company, and I tend to decline most invitations to socialize – at least, all those I can safely get out of.

By the same token, some people make friends easily and often. Others claim acquaintances, but few real friends. Still fewer don’t want friends, and don’t look for any. Again, I claim some friends, but relatively few. That does not mean I am a hermit, or that I am basically impolite to drive people off. Neither, however, do I tell all my heartfelt secrets within minutes of meeting someone!

There are a few people I consider real friends, who might be shocked to learn that I value them as highly as I do. Even though at first glance people might think I am gregarious, that is just not the case: I am far more private than I appear. Becoming real friends is a real undertaking, involving effort, inconvenience and occasionally, actual angst. I have enough to do to maintain a reasonable marriage, much less a friendship.