Doing Things For Myself And Doing Things For Others

I am the person I am today because of the way my parents brought me up. I had a simple upbringing, focused around living on a farm, attending to animals and growing crop and being a part of the church. Things were very black or white then, not much gray in between. You were supposed to do (or not to do) certain things no questions asked; not that anyone cared to ask in the first place. Things just were what they were, whatever they were.

One of the neighboring villages (Carpathian Mountains in Poland)

One of the neighboring villages (Carpathian Mountains in Poland)

I’ve appreciated my parents’ humble, god-fearing attitude and the way they’ve approached things. Life is good as long as family stays together, no problem is too big to be solved with the power of prayer. I watched both my parents kneeling down every single evening to praise the Lord, to thank for the blessings and ask Him to watch over our family. I remember, as if it was yesterday, my mom praying for us (my sister and me) to have good and caring husbands, non-drinkers (alcohol abstinent) and Catholic men. These were the qualities to look for in a man. The qualities to look for so ingrained in me that even after living in the USA for a few years, I was still declining second dates if I saw a man had a glass of wine with his dinner.

Well, fast forward 13 years and here I am; living in one of the biggest melting pots – New York City. No more white or black attitude. Actually, I am finding out that there are mostly ‘gray’ things out there. Most of the time there is no a better or a worse way to do things; there is just a DIFFERENT way to do them. I am doing best (well, trying) to embrace things as they are, to hold off hard judgement against anyone who is not living their lives the way I am living mine. As individuals we have different priorities at different stages in our lives, we have circumstances, emergencies, desires that are very much unknown to anyone who is just a bystander (yet very ready to share their 2 cents). Ms. Frugalwoods described it beautifully in her blog post today.

So where I am heading with this?

Well, now my life is so much different than what it used to be. After all, I have lived most of my adult life away from my parents, away from the village where I grew up, away from Poland. I have gone through experiences that none of my family back home could ever relate to, could never understand. My life is very different than what it is for my sister who settled with her own family on the same farm where we grew up. Same house, same backyard, same life. What seems important to me, is not so important to her. What she thinks is crucial, to me seems irrelevant. But what we do have in common is that we both care about each other.

I am willing to accommodate to make my sister and my dad happy, if that means keeping family strong and together, especially if it requires just a small effort. So, after 4 years of marriage with T. (we got married at a City Hall), we are getting married in a CHURCH over this Christmas. It has not mattered to me as much as it matters to my God-fearing dad and sister. I want my dad to have as worry free life as possible, with nothing ‘clouding’ our relationship. He is so loving to me, he is one of my best friends. Such a small effort on my part, but making all the difference. Something that may not mean to me much, means so much to someone I love. I am happy to accommodate any time of a day.

How far would you go to make YOUR family happy?

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