by Hannah Adamson
Sitting in the kitchen with my 92-year-old grandfather, listening to stories about driving tractors, plucking strawberries and carrying water from the well, I am reminded of the challenges and lessons embedded in my family’s past. While Grandad may not understand iPhones or the internet, he knows more about life than I possibly could at 17. With this in mind, I feel it is invaluable for teens like myself to take time to listen to our own histories and spend time with family.
With many obligations during the school year, taking time to connect with family is something that is often placed on the back burner. Some days it can even seem like scheduling time to have dinner together is more difficult than solving a mathematical equation. It is important to make a conscious effort to reach out to family members, even if it is something as simple as a five-minute conversation, quick text or an out-of-the-blue phone call. These small gestures often brighten someone’s day and can mean more than just the occasional visit.
As we all know, families don’t always get along or share the same opinions. Guess what… that’s okay! Sure it may be frustrating, but when we release the overpowering need to be “right” and the need to impose our perspective on others, we can agree to disagree. Many times listening to an opposing viewpoint with an open mind is more beneficial than only talking with people that agree with you. Furthermore, letting go of some disagreements in favor of saving a relationship with a family member is more important.
While I am no expert on family relationships, I know the importance of family. With over 3,000 miles of separation between me and most of my family, and visits only once a year, I realize how special spending time with loved ones is. For me, having the opportunity to listen to my grandfather’s stories is fairly rare, which reinforces how precious family time is. Every minute spent with family is a treasure; it is up to us to recognize that and make the choice to treat it as such.
Hannah Adamson will be a senior in high school this fall. She practices meditation and takes ThetaHealing courses with Reshma Shah in Westfield, New Jersey.