My hike to the airport from the inauguration definitely qualified as intense exercise. So it allowed me to feel almost okay that I’ve avoided working out ever since. This week I returned to the Power Plate. And I mentioned to my sister that I finally worked out after a month. Though she praised me for going back, I could imagine what she was thinking.
Carla has never gone 30 days without working out. I doubt she’s ever gone 30 hours. She’s a personal trainer–and she thinks a great vacation is going somewhere she can take a lot of exercise classes. For me it’s hard to use the word “exercise”‘ and “fun” in the same sentence. Not to mention all the other differences. She’s organized; I’m cluttered. She’s a morning person; I’m a night owl.
This gap in our DNA match makes me think of a book I just read by Marie Brenner called Apples and Oranges—about her relationship with her brother. Like so many people we all know, they’re the kind of siblings where you think: how can two people share the same parents and be so different? Her book tells the story of how it plays out when he gets a terminal illness.
I don’t want to review—or spoil the book. I’d recommend it—and it also struck a nerve. Not in my own family—my siblings and I are different but at least we’re on the same planet. The book got to me because I think sibling relationships are so important in shaping us–and because those sibling family dynamics last a lifetime. Recently I’ve known people with situations like Marie Brenner’s—siblings who were estranged , who overcame decades of emotional distance to come together in a time of need.
We’ve all also seen the opposite—siblings so alienated it’s hard to imagine they share a shred of DNA. Life can pull those family ties so far that they stretch beyond their ability to ever snap back into place. It makes you wonder whether blood is really thicker than water—and wonder even more about what the future will be like for those octuplets.
Meanwhile I can still remember my parents telling my sister and brother and I to stay close to each other–because someday our parents would be gone and we’d need each other. The thing parents always say. I’ve said the same thing to my kids. I sure hope they’re listening.