Go Back to Move Forward

I’ve just spent ten days with my family: my four children, my four brothers, their wives and all their children. If you throw in my own cousins, their children and — well, the group gets big.

Every year, I make the pilgrimage back to Cape Cod where I spent my summers as a child. I used to say that I returned every year to see my parents, but now they are both gone. So why do I go?

And should I keep going? It’s a question I ask myself a lot. But on this flight back to California, which is my home, I know deep in my heart why I go and why I’m so happy that I still can.

I go to connect. I go to keep my connection strong with my family. I go so that my kids will know their cousins and understand the value of family. I go so that my children will understand that you can have great fun just sitting around a table playing UNO, or playing ping pong, or making s’mores on the beach.

I go to sail with my brothers. I go to develop a relationship with my sisters-in-law and my nieces and nephews. I go because, in this fast-paced world, it’s good to have a place to go where life is simpler and where you are surrounded by family.

I have discovered that I feel best when I am connected deeply through conversation and shared experiences with people I love and who love me back.

So why do I keep coming back? I go back back so I can move forward  in my life secure in the knowledge that I’m loved by a great, big group of men and women, boys and girls, who make up my family.

As I head west, I feel loved, I feel grateful and I feel blessed. My parents gave me the gift of a beautiful family. I go back so I can move forward…it’s that simple.

About the Author

author image

Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

Read more from Maria Shriver

Sign Up for MariaShriver.com's Weekly Must-Read

More Posts from Architects of Change