@hopeful33250, @johnbishop– Being the oldest of five I have always read that helped a lot with self esteem. In my situation I have always felt that to be very true. Not that I felt I received special treatment, but being the 1st seems to always have given me a healthy outlook. Years later as all us siblings would often gather for holidays, etc. I started hearing stories from my siblings that were so very different than my recolections? For awhile I would think "Oh that must have happened when I had left for college", but then be told, no, that was when you were barely a teenager? It was as if I lived in another world!
I have always felt loved by my parents, but never to the point of unfairness.
I enjoyed doing jobs around the house whether it was keeping a clean room to helping with lawn cutting, leave raking, snow shoveling, etc. I took pride in doing a good job and was not seeking praise (although it was always nice to hear that I did a nice job).
So many of our friends years later couldn't believe that we as siblings would often vacation together and then it happened. The 1st divorce , then another and then my youngest brother who had really done well in his career got divorced and it relly split up us siblings. There were taking sides, etc. Now sadly we rarely speak. Such a shame!!
Fast forward to retirement for me. I had owned my own contracting business for over 40 years. Contact with clients and subs and running crews for me was always (mostly) very enjoyable.
I always remember my dad telling me to work on my hobbies so when I retire I have things to fall back on. That was not a problem in that I had many, but the one thing I never really thought of was how important all those interactions I would have every day played such a big part of who I am. Many of those interactions are gone now and I have realized how important they were in my life.
Fortunately we have 3 very close couple friends that we've known for about 40 years. We all met in a young marrieds class at the church we were going to at that time. Now we seem to have found different churches, but have continud to get together weekly for bible study, dinner outings and often vacations.
I feel very blessed, but am always reaching out to my siblings hoping we can restablish our friendships once again.
I'm determined to continue to write them often whether I ever hear from them.
Perhaps one day I will be surprised!