Family Day Isn't Just for Family

Happy Family Day and the start of a lovely and restful reading week to all my fellow college and university friends! 

I remember my first Family Day; it was in February 2008 and my family and I went skiing.  Since this was the first-ever introduced Family Day in Ontario, it was a pretty big deal. Families everywhere went full-out to find family-fun activities to participate in together. 

My family never skied together before that first Family Day in 2008, so there was bound to be some sort of disaster. The ski hill was packed full of families who obviously shared the same idea that my parents did. After all the falls, wipe outs and tumbles, my mom and I ended up sitting in the lodge sharing hot chocolate while my dad helped my brother attempt to ski down one of the hills.  Overall, it was a great day and I remember feeling really happy that I got a day off school to spend some time with my family. Even though it wasn’t perfect, I felt lucky to be in the presence of the people who made me who I am today. 

Close Up Of Hand Holding CupEver since that first Family Day, I have always looked forward to having a whole day with my family to do something we wouldn’t normally do together: bowling, board games or road trips to different towns to go exploring.  As the years progressed, I realized that not every family was like mine: not everyone had a family to spend the day with. I also realized that I had begun to add more people into my life who I considered to be family. People who loved and supported me as much as my blood family did. Ones that weren’t necessarily family, but it felt like they were just the same. 

In 2020, as Family Day was approaching, I started to reflect on what family really is.  What does it mean to be family? Can you choose your family? What if you have friends that are more supportive than your family members?  Now, I’m not saying that everyone can relate to this, or that friends are better than family, just that some people have a different story and feel more connected to others even if those people aren’t blood.  

Anna Schultz-Friends Cuddling In Holiday PajamasFor example, us girls sometimes call each other ‘sisters’ and while sisterhood is a very strong bond, we don’t actually mean blood sisters.  Sisterhood is all about supporting other girls and loving them as a sister would. This isn’t to exclude your actual sister, it just means that you are inviting more people that support you into your ‘family’. 

This Family Day, I challenge you to think about who your family is, blood or not.  Life is too short to not let people know how you feel. So whoever you decide to spend the day with, take the time to remind them that you love them. Family doesn’t end in blood but it does end in "I Love You". We chose our family as much as they chose us.