My first great adventure of Rafting in Colorado was in 2008 with my family on the Arkinsas River in our beautiful state of Colorado. It was my grandfather’s 70th birthday and we all joined in to surprise him for a weekend of family fun in the beautiful vistas back lit by the Colorado sun. All of us had the best time in a raft on a Colorado river. The summer’s afternoon heat bore down on us as we split into our two rafts. The river guides matched the beautiful scenery along the swift early summer current of the river.
Of all of the times I have driven to the southern part of Colorado, we’ve always driven through Buena Visa and Salida – the hot spots for Colorado White Water Rafting. Yet, I had never been on a Colorado rafting trip of my own in a boat loaded with savvy guides and a great group of people. The time spent in the raft, laughing, paddling and floating all along the rivers bends and falls was the highlight of my summer vacation. Our group trip created some of the best memories of time spent with my family in the wilderness.
Between the two rafts brimming all of us on the family trip, we covered the range of skill levels as much as we spanned the range of age from my youngest cousins to my grandfather at 70. Luckily, this group trip wasn’t an extreme trip! Our day was full of excitement on our “mild” water run and we loved our lunch at our stop on the way. We learned the correct ways to navigate the waters and paddle from the best river guides ever.
Our raft guides were skilled and experienced and spent their summers on the river many summers over, and their bright personalities shone through their river tanned bodies and fit right in with the family. The shared many stories from elite rafting trips they have led, of high class rapids they had run, and entertaining tales from their lives devoted to the rivers of Colorado. Their knowledge of the way of the river made us all feel at ease in our rafts and kept us in great spirits with all the laughter and water play in the slower parts of the river.
Everyone involved was happy and it was a day for the memory books. The day trip on the Animas River made me want to explore even more family adventures on other rivers in Colorado, like the Arkansas River, Colorado River, Dolores River, Gunnison River, and North Platte River. Perhaps I needed to plan more Colorado river adventure themed family reunions? I know for certain that my experience in a raft on a Colorado River was one of the best adventures of my life, and a new way to experience and become aware of the wilderness in colorful Colorado.
Warning: Marrying into step families can cause: ankle-biting, door-slamming, splitting headaches, temporary amnesia, high blood pressure, toothaches, sore throat (from excessive screaming at the kids), temporary paralysis, sex deprivation, and tooth-grinding, to say the least.
We all know that being in a step family is a challenge. One that most of us could not have expected. As I have shared on other occasions, my husband and I were together for years before we decided to get married, and we even bought a home together before the big day. Yet, the act of marrying still changed the dynamics and brought on challenges that most do not anticipate. Why does marriage change things? Is it because the children are cruel? The ex’s are evil? Your new spouse is a fool? And that they are all joining forces to prevent you from having any joy in your life? No, at least most likely not. Marriage changes things because it brings a finality to the previous family structure, for one. Any fantasies that kids might have had of their parents getting back together are thrown out the window, and the new spouse is the reason why. Marriage also means an official change in title that may bring about competitions with the ex that you have no desire to be a part of.
There is one thing, however, that can make the bad days bearable, and the good days wonderful. What I am talking about is making sure that you marry the right person to begin with. I married the right man, at the right time for us, and for the right reasons. I married for love, and acknowledge that we both complimented each other. He makes me laugh all the time, and makes me want to be a better person, and I do the same for him (at least on most days). It was critical that we have a strong relationship that was able to weather all the changes that seemed to take place over night once we did get married.
So what can you do to overcome the challenges that await you and the love of your life rather than heading back to divorce court in the next few years?
Ask yourself – did you marry the right person? Are they ready for a/another marriage? What is it that I need(ed) from this marriage? Am I getting it? Carve out 30 minutes to answer these questions. If you have found that step family life has left you ready to run away from your home, you may want to start with the most important questions of all – is it the right relationship to lead the family to begin with. No other changes will impact your entire family than understand the answers to these questions.
It is now September, 6 months to go to the February half term and almost all family accommodation is sold out in the Alps for this week. There are organisations who focus on a family package catered ski holiday and they can charge £1000 to £1200 per person, and that is without ski hire, lessons or flights.
So – how do you afford a family ski holiday without having to re-mortgage the house?
Don’t go at February half term unless you have no option – this is the busiest week of the ski season, the queues are longest and prices are highest. New Year is also expensive. Christmas and Easter are cheaper.
If you have children who are not at school, go in early January or early March – these is the quietest time for chalets in the Alps, queues are short and prices are the lowest. You will get more time skiing, it is easier to get ski instructors and children booked into a crèche.
Don’t buy a standard all in package – Try finding a smaller chalet operator who has links with others for child care – whilst there are many excellent operators who focus on family holidays and offer an all in package, they are generally very expensive. There are some new smaller organisations who have links with others who specialise in: child care, children’s ski lessons and other activities for children, they will help you put together a complete package usually at much lower cost and by doing this you are cutting out the middle man.
Consider going self catered – but use a Chef Service for some meals, and chose self catered accommodation where there are on site friendly staff to help – whilst self catered is a lot cheaper, you don’t want to be on your own without help, for example if one of your children are sick.
Book ski passes in advance and directly with the lift company – Whilst many operators advertise free ski passes, the reality is you can often get ski passes at the best price by booking in advance directly with the lift operator and they buying your accommodation separately. We all know that nothing is free and that the operators have to buy the ski passes.
Book your skis in advance and arrange for fitting at your Chalet – this will save you at least half a day, giving you more time for skiing, whilst this may cost a little more, when you consider the cost of an additional half a day’s skiing, this actually represents a huge saving. Again, often smaller operators can help with this.
Book child care and children’s ski lessons well in advance – these soon become full, at least the good ones do, don’t expect to be able to book at a month’s notice.
Chose France – there are many ski resorts within an hour’s drive of Geneva airport, long flights are not ideal for children, and also add to costs. With the Euro and 1.2 now, France is becoming affordable.
Chose a resort with a ‘Famillie Plus Montagne’ award – these resorts are selected as being the best in France for Families.
An ideal place is Les Gets – it regularly wins awards for the best family ski resort in the world, some of the benefits of Les Gets are:-
* An hour’s transfer from Geneva airport
* Good crèche facilities
* Nanny facilities are available
* Plenty of ski schools who cater very well for children of all ages
* A wonderful children’s ski area
* Other activities for children, such as pottery painting
* Les Gets is a traditional mountain village.
* Not too high – so not subject to difficult weather conditions, yet having a good snow record.
* Les Gets is not a ‘high fashion’ resort and prices are not exorbitant.
The family setting is an interesting arena that is rife with a gamut of emotions, trials and tribulations
Sometimes relationships can get strained and individual family members can be singled out to bear the brunt of the family strain.
Scapegoating is something that happens in any setting, group, gender, age, or race however, for the purpose of this article, I will be focusing on the nature of scapegoating in the family setting and family system.
In some respects one child in the family may be picking up on the stresses and challenges within the family system, and perhaps more than their siblings. As such, that child may act up or act out in response to their perception of the stressor or in reaction to feelings, and in different ways, depending on their age.
Often times children are not able to explain or understand what they are experiencing, nor able to manage these feelings, hence their behavior of acting up or acting out in an attempt to do so or to “shake off” the feelings.
Acting out may consequently make them the target of scapegoating. The other children in the family may become aware of certain challenges or tensions in the family but may be in denial of their existence and inadvertently displace this awareness or problem onto the sibling that is acting out on what they perceive or feel. The other children in essence behave as “model” well-behaved children and generally appear to be happy and content with life. The flipside of this experience is that these siblings might be encouraged by the parents to taunt or bully the sibling who is scapegoated.
Another key aspect for scapegoating to become effective is the parents own denial of the family situation or their blame mentality of the true situation within the family system as a whole. Additionally, this could include the parents own insecurities about managing the situation effectively, or insecurities about qualities and characteristics that they themselves lack but which they perceive in the child that is acting out.
The child who is aware that the family setting is not right consequently is blamed and made the scapegoat for generally anything that goes wrong in the family, including the parents relationship. Children invariably internalise these problems as their fault.
Other reasons that a particular child could be selected by a parent(s) for scapegoating could be that the child reminds the parent in some way of a person he or she doesn’t like, such as their own parents, ex partner or an abuser. It could also be that the child has similar characteristics and traits to the parent, which the parent has not yet accepted within themselves, or the child is just simply different in many aspects from the other siblings.
However, the motivating factor that drives the parent to mistreat and scapegoat their child, further displacing and transferring their responsibility from themselves onto the child, is likely to be at an unconscious level, but this is not always the case. Some parents may be well aware of their reasons for mistreating or enabling one of their children to become a scapegoat for all the familly’s ‘ills’ but may not be able to effectively control or manage their actions due to the underlying drivers and motivators. The parents’ denial additionally aids in maintaining that status quo.
That said, the whole family is affected in some way by the scapegoating process, including the ‘model’ children in the family, signs of which may become more apparent in their adult years.
Different ways that children can be made scapegoats:
– abuse in a variety of ways including neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse
– or even death itself
If that child leaves the home environment as a young adult or is removed from the home at an early age, the family challenge still remains, and another sibling is then likely to be the target of the parent’s scapegoating, in order to fill the gap or void that has been created. Unless the parent(s) deal with their need to abdicate responsibility for their actions, the transference will continue to be a cycle of oppression within the family setting in particular.
There are those aware enough to realize that nothing in the world is as it seems. What exactly does this mean? Let me explain with an analogy.
The state of the world can be likened to that of an imaginary movie. The setting is a live theatre show. Here in the auditorium something very odd is going on. The audience find themselves strangely rapt with attention at the stage performers, almost to the point of hypnotic trance. The performers, a bunch of adept con artists, tricksters, magicians, conjurors and jugglers… not seeing it as a mere stage act all the things they do and say are generally believed by the audience to be for real!
Okay, true that some have caught a glimpse of what’s going on backstage and realised that it’s all an illusion but they are in a small minority, ignored by the rest.
As this great extravaganza show of smoke and mirrors continues, the audience have no idea of the dire situation they’re in and what’s really happening: Even if they realized and tried to break away, no longer finding themselves mesmerized by the performers they would not go very far. The doors of the auditorium have been purposefully locked to keep them entrapped.
Something else is worth a mention. Although the performers carry out the stage acts, most of what they do is dictated to them by certain individuals hiding behind the scenes. Indeed, these individuals are the ones really calling the shots and controlling the show. The audience have no idea of their existence and how they are to be the hapless victims of their insane dark hidden agenda:
Under the instruction and influence of these individuals hiding behind the scenes controlling the show, the performers turn offensive towards the audience and after destroying the audience in whatever way they can the performers then turn on themselves. In the final reel of this horror movie, hopes of escape for the few survivors amongst the carnage are soon blighted when the controllers behind the scenes destroy the auditorium, causing it to go up in smoke and flames…
In the last scene the camera goes someplace else and focuses on a fine untarnished building, another auditorium. Here another show will soon begin and be played out in the same destructive way as before, care of those hidden controllers who operate from and reside some place far, far away…
What does all this represent?
The auditorium is planet Earth. The theatre performers are those selected by the backstage hidden controllers to run the planet. They comprise a small number of certain senior politicians, corporate execs, royals, financiers, academic authorities, military and industrial leaders… i.e. an elite few at the top of various hierarchical organizational trees working together. Their illusory stage acts represent the lies, deceptions and cover-ups given out to the human race to keep them in servitude, fear, dumb-down and fallen victims to their ongoing hidden enslavement agenda. As mentioned in the audience analogy most of the human race has no idea that anything is going on.
One of the most useful forms of control used by those running the planet to keep the human race in ignorance, misinformed and misled is the false mainstream media construct. Programmed and brainwashed to the point of almost total distraction humans have allowed themselves to seriously lose touch with reality and nature.
Who are the ‘hidden controllers’, the ones telling those running the planet what to do? -For now, to avoid complication and confusion, their identity will not be mentioned.
‘The doors of the auditorium purposefully locked to entrap the audience’ symbolises how the human race is unknowingly losing more and more of its freedom to those controlling and running the planet. This has been going on for a very long time. The powers that be are very cunning, resourceful, careful and extremely patient: Every action planned and implemented towards enslavement has been done in small baby steps so that it goes by unnoticed over the years.
As mentioned in the film analogy, some have noticed and caught a glimpse of what’s going on back stage and realised that the theatre illusion is a massive deception used to cover up the ulterior motive, but they are in a small minority, ignored by the rest…
Insidious; masquerading as we-care-for-you, while covertly hostile in approach, it has now been considered by those controlling and running the planet that everything has been put in place and there is nothing you will be able to do about their hidden enslavement agenda. Taking the USA situation as one of a number of countless examples, there has been a lengthy list of steps planned to lead to the codification of martial law… Like the stage performers analogy, how long will it be before these powers that be drop their disguises and turn on the people? The saying ‘resistance is futile’ in a global fascist dictatorship rings true for them.
I would not be writing these messages if I considered this to be the case. I will be providing effective solutions later. In the meantime do not be in fear over the situation. Treat this as an opportunity for action, a clarion call. Join me and be part of a winning team that will stop the enslavement agenda and birth a new paradigm experience.