For the last four days my home has been filled with family and life long friends. The last couples left yesterday leaving our home feeling empty, quiet, and lonely. We miss our loved ones with whom we share so much history and can be completely comfortable around. With travel plans, food preparation, sleeping arrangements and making sure everyone is entertained, a lot of work goes into planning these family reunions. I am worn out physically today, but at the same time I am strengthened from the laughter, togetherness, and knowledge that I am part of a caring extended family.
Maintaining family bonds and staying connected to our friends takes work, but if we don’t make the effort, a very important part of our life experience is lost. The benefits of maintaining relationships are far reaching. We human beings need each other. Knowing there will be someone there in times of trouble is comforting, and sharing memories and laughter is critical to mental well being. A good laugh is great medicine and with a steady dose of laughter, you will be a healthier person.
As I reminisce about the past weekend, I am looking forward to another reunion, an annual event with my high school girlfriends who are like sisters after all these years. I know there will be a lot of that good medicine, laughter, while they are here.
Stay connected and reap the rewards. Reach out to someone you have not contacted in years and have some laughs. It may seem like work to reestablish old relationships, but it is really a gift. Give yourself the gift of love and laughter and be happier and healthier for it.