Hello, and welcome to Introspection Week here at the Lighten Up! blog. I am sitting here in Croatia with time on my hands, and I have decided to think long and hard about what I want and why I want it.
Yesterday I looked at my attitude, and how I want to relax, reduce stress in my life, and worry less. Today’s topic: relationships, otherwise known as the category “Lighten My Heart.”
Why in the world do I want to improve my life so much? Why worry less, be healthier, live in a beautiful home, manage my time well? Do I think there is some kind of scorecard, and I am going to get bonus points for doing things right? Or am I trying to make time for what is truly important to me?
Although I sometimes lose sight of it, I know the second answer is the correct one. I want to be a healthier, happier person so I can enjoy the people I care about, and I want to organize my life and my time so that I have the opportunity to do so.
Isn’t this what life’s all about?
Isn’t this a dream come true?
(OK, sorry. No more 80’s musical references. Yeah, I know… that’s a lie. But they just come shooting out!)
So, yes, I know that the people in my life are my highest priority… yet I am not very good at making time for relationships. I hold “spending time with people” out in front of myself as a carrot when I get behind on everything I think I need to do… and then (because I am rarely satisfied with anything even when I do complete it), I never feel that I have gotten enough done to merit the reward.
In addition, I am a very neurotic hostess, so I have trouble throwing parties. I am a terrible cook, so (unless I am ordering food in) having people over for a meal is a dicey enterprise. I am usually flying by the seat of my pants, so my less-spontaneous friends are already booked up when I get the inspiration to call. You can see where I might have some trouble.
We tried to solve the “We Are Antisocial” problem a couple of years ago by holding regular parties, sort of like a serial open house. But Odd Fridays (as they were called since they took place on the odd-numbered Fridays) sort of fizzled out. For one thing, they morphed into Game Nights for David and his friends; for another, we saw a lot of some people (which was great!) and very little of others (which was disappointing).
I was talking to my friend Nicole about that failed experiment when I saw her in Hannover last month. Her take: she prefers to be specifically invited to do things with just me/us, as opposed to mass gatherings to which everyone is invited, because it is more special that way. She loves me, so I took that criticism as it was intended – and I could see that she was right.
So that’s my goal: to make time for my friends and family, and to let them know how important they are to me. I’m not as worried about the joy and laughter part; if we get together, that will come.
- I’m grateful! Listen to what my husband said to me today: “I love you. Loving you is the best decision I ever made.” Isn’t that so sweet? Of course, because I am me, I didn’t hear him the first time and he had to repeat it. (Deafness? ADD? That poor guy…)