Positively Paula

The New Brady Bunch Reboot With Vince Vaughn

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This morning I saw a great reminder by Rebecca Snell (@stepfamilytips on Twitter).  "Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." (attributed to Lord Byron) For those of us in blended families, we can all use some more laughs. I am looking forward to seeing the new version of The Brady Bunch from executive producer Vince Vaughn and CBS. According to The Hollywood Reporter in "CBS Developing 'Brady Bunch' Reboot with Vince Vaughn," the upcoming reboot of The Brady Bunch will have some new blended family angles.

The film is supposed to feature Bobby as someone who is remarried, and will include his new bride's exes and "feature their kids from previous marriages, along with the couple's shared child." I fully expect this film to be totally unrealistic, but I'm hoping it makes us all laugh, and maybe even at ourselves a little bit as we can sometimes do when we look back on some of our stepfamily circumstances.

I wish I had a film of myself from many of my days in a newly blended family; I'm sure I would crack myself up.  Trying desperately to please everyone and having pleased very few can be very laugh-worthy, at least in hindsight.  And, so can sitting in a closet on the floor crying over something that seemed so significant then, but I can't even remember why now.

I do remember getting so excited to see Stepbrothers starring Will Ferrell and Jon C. Reilly in 2008 that my stepfamily and I brought my mother! Big mistake. Roger Ebert gave Stepbrothers 1.5 out of 4 stars. Here's to hoping that Vince Vaughn, Wild West Picture Show Productions and CBS won't let us down. 


What is There to be Thankful for in Your Stepfamily?

Friday, March 11, 2011
A dear friend and mindset coach I know, Renee Canali, gave me a very meaningful gift, namely a small book entitled 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik this past Christmas. In a nutshell, it is a story about a guy who handwrote 365 thank you notes in one year and the remarkable things that happened in his life as a result of displaying such gratitude. I've started writing more thank you notes as a result, and it feels good. It got me thinking; how many of us are grateful for our stepfamily members?

And, how many of us get caught up in the whining and complaining about exes, our kids' other stepparent, and all of the challenges that stepfamily life can bring? I'm guilty! Especially in the early years of my remarriage, I complained, got angry, and I'm sure I drove my friends and family nuts on many days. And, even now having been remarried for nearly eight years, I still have my moments.

In hindsight, I feel like I have wasted valuable time and energy simmering in a stew of negative feelings. I wish I had read books, including 365 Thank Yous and Jack Canfield's The Success Principles, years ago. In his book, Canfield writes, "When you are in a state of appreciation and gratitude, you are in a state of abundance. You are appreciating what you do have instead of focusing on and complaining about what you don't have."

So, turning back to remarriage and stepfamily life, for what is there to be grateful?  As a start, how about:
  • the opportunity to learn about your own strengths and weaknesses?
  • the chance to learn more about love and its many forms?
  • a second chance for true happiness after experiencing divorce or widowhood?
  • learning how to appreciate others?
  • developing healthy coping mechanisms?
  • the ability to be a positive influence in a young person's life?
All of these experiences do not just happen overnight, rather there is a process for each. So, while we continue to progress and work on these things, we can express appreciation in our stepfamilies each day - for even the smallest things.

In The Success Principles, Canfield explains that there are three different kinds of appreciation. He describes three different ways (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic) "the brain takes in information, and everybody has a dominant type they prefer." 

So, every day we can strive to appreciate the people in our family in the way that makes them feel good. We can hug one of our stepchildren who responds to touch. We can call one of our kids who is away at college to find out how they are doing, and we can write a note telling our spouse how much we appreciate what they do.

The things that we grumble about may still be there. But, if we follow John Kralik's example, we'll actually feel happier.  Thank goodness for that!




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