2 Childhood Gifts – Family Fun & Relationship Challenges

My childhood was ideal. I was loved immensely, taught well and disciplined effectively. Nothing but positive thoughts flow from my mind when I reminisce about my early years.

Interestingly, family fun was a big part of my childhood despite the challenging relationships (inner and outer family) that surrounded me.

Even though my parents were married for over 25 years, there were many years when they were separated and happiness was elusive.  I’ve heard that parental difficulties can be tough for a child although it wasn’t for me. It helped me to see how important “getting along” was to a long-term union.

Individually, my parents were interesting, fun and happy people, although together, the chemistry was often less than ideal. Despite their issues, I was amazed at how effectively they took care of me. For that, I am grateful.

The outer family (uncle and aunts) had their share of relationship challenges as well, and again, it was a good lesson as I received some extra doses of what I didn’t want.

The lessons were priceless as I’ve wasted very few days dealing with a bad relationship.  If it didn’t work, I would either get out right away or after a few weeks.  I found it pointless to linger in a relationship that wasn’t fun or moving forward or had no long term future. Being in a position to meet the future Mrs. Payne was essential to me and I would have limited my chances by existing in an unhealthy relationship.

Maybe the greatest and most important gift from my family (both parents and relatives) was the art of having fun – especially when the whole family was together.

Whether it was playing card games, telling stories or simply hanging out at someone’s house, there was never a lack of laughing, teasing or playful banter. Some of my best memories are from observing my parents/family and being included in poker games when I became old enough to participate.  Poker was always entertaining and we often played for hours and hours. Those were precious moments and I will forever cherish them.

I often tell people that despite your circumstances, the ability to have fun is of utmost importance.  Far too many people miss out on the essence of life as they become too stressed with work, children or life’s endless “To Do” list.

Fun is something that needs to shine in a life every day. All it takes is some positivity, a good attitude, enthusiasm and the ability to laugh. In addition, every life should include adequate doses of “Me Time” – time spent doing what you enjoy the most.

Two wonderful gifts:

-- Family Fun
-- Witnessing the challenges of relationships

One wouldn’t think the above combination would be a positive influence but it worked for me. Without it, my life might have been totally different and much less than what I dreamed of.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Living in the beauty of Southern Sweden!