Family Obligations, Guilt, and Money

February 2, 2010 at 8:54 pm (Uncategorized)

I don’t talk much about my family on this blog. I’m not super-close with my parents, and most of my family lives 3,000 miles away on the east coast, from Vermont through Florida. I’ve also kept my journey out of debt pretty quiet. While it’s not a secret, I don’t really talk much about it, even though it consumes so much of my life.

During xmas, during the required family phone call, I spoke with the extended family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc, since my parents went to visit family out of state, and my grandparents flew in to visit. I was taken aback by my aunt, to whom I have not spoken in something like 6 or 7 years, trying to force me (while not being all that friendly about it) to promise to visit my parents this summer. She promised to come visit at the same time. I himmed and hawed and didn’t actually promise anything, and I was given a really hard time about it.

Recently, my mom has been going through some difficult times with family. During out last phone call she talked about visiting some places around the state this summer. I told her that while I would love to, I am trying very hard to pay off a lot of debt I incurred about 5 years ago, that I am trying hard not to spend lots of money on travelling or trips (which can easily run $600-$1000 going to the east coast, rental car, restaurants, etc). She’s having just as many money problems as I am. She mentiond helping me out and somehow paying for the ticket. That’s not why I brought up trying not to spend money!!

I love my family, don’t get me wrong. But there’s always that guilt and obligation that almost forces you to travel and make vacation plans to see them, even when you don’t want to.

I don’t know if I will travel to see anyone this year, but if my family had my way, I’d already have the tickets booked. No one has leverage like family.

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