How Do You Define “Family”?

waving hello

Have you ever met someone you knew would be a long-time friend and possibly family?

I have been blessed to say yes to this more than once.  It is funny how people come and go from our lives.  Our family is usually the stable factor.  But many people have unstable families and look for “family” in another way.

I am an only child, but my family is enormous.  I have always been surrounded by a ton of family and feel blessed that I still am today!  Many people do not have this luxury.  That does NOT mean you do not have a family.  It means you need to redefine your idea of family.

Ah, Family, such a broad definition.  I have shortened Merriam Webster’s definition of family to include: 

  1. the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also: any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family.
  2. a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head
  3. a group of persons of common ancestry: clan
  4. a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation
  5. a group of things related by common characteristics

ground group growth hands  waterfowl-mallard-young-young-duck-159864.jpeg  white and red led signage with love family laughter text

The only place in this definition regarding biology/genes are parents and children.  As you can see family is a hugely broad definition.  It can even define inanimate objects.  Therefore, you can also broaden your definition of Family.

My idea of a family is Family by Choice, any and all members that help to function and better each other.  Friends, Sisters, Church Members, Club Friends, Sports People, etc… The bottom line is Family by Blood is the one we are born into, Family by Choice is the family we choose for ourselves.  It is about who is around you when things are crazy.  The people that can stand you for multiple hours.  The ones that just love your company.

As you get older, you begin to see things more wisely.  It is kind of weird, but it is true.   Seeing things differently has helped me to define my family as something completely different.   I have realized my family = the people that know me best.  What I like to eat. My favorite color. They can read my moods, see me in the morning before my coffee, AAAH, and let me cry on their shoulders.  They are my cousins, parents, college friends, sports friends, and people that live in other states.  A family is not just blood sometimes it is so much more.

My hope for you is that you have family; however, you may define it.  I also hope that by seeing me try to redefine and branch out my beliefs that you may be able to do the same, if you so choose. 

Sometimes seeing things from a different point of view can really change your life.  I know this new definition of “family” has brought so many wonderful new members into my life.  I wish this for you!!

Remember…you are NOT alone!  Until next time.  –Jenn


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