As a friend of mine pointed out when I saw her on Tuesday, there was no DDT Week 7 post. That was semi-deliberate. I usually write these wrap-up posts at some point over the weekend. And last weekend was full of choiry goodness. On Saturday preparing for our end of term gig. And on Sunday recovering from the gig and the after-party. Such a lot of both weeks seemed to be choir related (practice, extra practice, gig, party) so I thought I’d merge them.

I wrote a post on Facebook last Sunday which said

“I am full of love for choir today. Both the satisfaction of a great gig, but just as equally the warm, glowing feeling of fellowship. I joined choir looking for a connection to my late Mum (who had been in a choir or operatic society for quite a few of her adult years). I did gain that. But more importantly, I got what a friend of mine described yesterday as my ‘bonkers wonderful SOTC family’. And that’s exactly how it feels - like I’m part of a family. And at this time of year that feels special. As I’ve said before Thank you, Mum, for inspiring me to find and join this choir!”

I have struggled a little with that word ‘family’ over the past couple of years. The primary dictionary definition is:

A group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

and the second one is:

A group of people related by blood or marriage

I can include the lovely Richard using that second definition of family. But it’s still a bit on the restrictive side.

So, I have chosen to rename the group of people I used to call my ‘support network’ to be my ‘friends as family’. I like this ‘friends as family’ phrase a lot. It feels warm and welcoming. The people may change over the years, and indeed they have, but the concept holds true. They are the people who I will turn to in times of need, knowing that they’ve got my back and that whatever I tell them, they’ll cope. Having started to come up with my definition, I stumbled across this one and decided that it worked pretty well for me:

Weird People's definition of family

So I feel like I’m starting to be able to use the family word without it leading to sadness. I have a lovely, loving and loved husband who fits into that “group of people related by blood or marriage” definition, I have my ‘bonkers wonderful SOTC family’, and I have my lovely and loved ‘friends as family’. And that feels wonderful. Especially at Christmas.