Skip to main content

“Not at all: They’re Family.”

We were feeling good! In fact, we were somewhat giddy. We had just returned from picking up our daughter from her week-long visit with Granny & Pawpaw in Northeast Texas. And at the same time, we were expecting the homecoming of a very dear friend that had been working in New York for the past three months. Alex asked if it wasn’t kinda silly to be so excited to have them back home. I said, “Not at all. They’re family.”

That phrase stuck in my head and got me to thinking.
I know – dangerous, right?

Well, the funny thing is that when I look back on our life together, I would have never pictured Alex and me to be where we are now. Oh, we’ve had our shares of ups and downs. There have been times, scary times, when it felt like the only thing holding us together was a worn out piece of string. Yet here we are, together still, nineteen years and counting.

How did we do it? Well, I could say it was purely devotion, discipline or true love. I could even say stupidity and I wouldn’t be half lying. After all, love does have a silly way of making us all a little stupid. But, of all things I could credit, I would have to say our longevity as a couple was a group effort. We didn’t do it alone. Now, more than ever, I am firmly convinced that there isn’t a single, long-term couple on this planet that has accomplished this feat – alone.

No. Family, friends and the friends who have become our “chosen family” invested their time and love into us, too. For them I am grateful. When our hearts were broken, they were there to help reassemble the pieces. At the times when ends were hard to meet, they gave without hesitation. Encouragement, advice, sometimes nothing more than a sympathetic ear but whatever was needed they provided it freely. They invested themselves in us. Can you identify with this?

Alex and I realize that our family is not normal in the traditional sense; traditional meaning husband + wife + offspring... Yet, our little family doesn’t lack for love, or purpose, or meaning.

I would even argue that perhaps our little family has those things in greater abundance than most of the so called “traditional” ones. Why? Because ultimately, family is more than whom you are genetically linked to. It’s more than what the legal definition of “family” is. It’s a commitment, an investment of love in the people you value as a significant part of your life. And the number of those people vested in our little "non-traditional family" is large, to say the least.

So, as I close, my challenge to you is this: take some time to honestly reflect on the non-traditional family members that have invested in your life. And don’t forget to thank them! Alex, Lexi and I are blessed, grateful and proud to have such family members. And you should be, too.

As always – Enjoy Your Life,

John Aaron Villarreal

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all their lives have to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.


Popular posts from this blog

The Benefits of Regular Massage Sessions

Once people discover the many joys and benefits of massage, a common question arises—“How often should I schedule my massage sessions?”

Of course, there is no set answer, but studies indicate that massage at regular intervals is most beneficial to your overall health.

In a Newsweek article entitled “The Magic of Touch,” the advantages of frequent massage are considered. The following excerpts help to answer the question, “How often?”

“A weekly massage may seem an indulgence, but new research suggests it can have major health benefits...

“Since instituting a program of massage, job-specific exercises and ergonomics in 1990, the Virginia-based company [Wampler Foods] has cut repetitive-stress injuries by 75 percent...

“From assembly lines to corporate headquarters, Americans are discovering the magic of massage. At Boeing and Reebok, headaches, back strain and fatigue have all fallen since the companies started bringing in massage therapists...

Doctors have started prescribing massage …

Simple Steps to Spring Forward Toward Fitness

Daylight savings time is a sure reminder that spring is just around the corner and there WILL eventually be an end to the winter weather. And while much of the country still dealing with bitter cold, here in Houston, we’re definitely ready for the warmer days. In fact, this is the time of year when you’ll find many of us increasing our outdoor activities and all too often push ourselves a little too hard. Unfortunately, what can result is often a few days of painful recovery time.

So, I've got a short list of suggestions to consider as you pursue your favorite warm-weather pastimes this season:

First, increase your activity level gradually— Pay attention to your body’s signals so you can avoid serious injury and don’t have to pay the painful price of overindulgence. Start slowly and do a little more each day and you’ll be up to speed in no time.

Warm up— Plunging into activity before you get your body warmed and ready is inviting potential trouble. Avoid possible sprains, torn liga…

Not tonight… I've got a headache.

Headaches… the perfect way to ruin a romantic rendezvous. No? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would talk about headaches and suggest ways to prevent this trouble maker from ruining not only your love life, but your daily life, too.

According to Web MD, 30 to 80% of the adult Americans suffer from occasional tension headaches. Some of these may have hereditary causes, while others can be caused by lifestyle or environment, such as poor posture, unhealthy eating habits, a high stress job, or a demanding home life. Any combination of stress-inducing factors could become the trigger, really.

That said, massage therapy may be your best secret weapon to keep headaches at bay. At the very least, massage therapy can help you deal with the pain while you determine the best approach to maneuvering through the mitigating factors that might be causing your headaches.

But don’t just take my word for it…

According to The American Journal of Manipulative Physiological and T…