No matter how old we get, how experienced we become there is always something to learn or relearn.
Prioritize your time. Spend it with the people who reciprocate as much as you can. Accept that sometimes you give affection or attention to people who haven't learned to reciprocate or to value the finite time you have to share.
It sounds cheesy to say "make every moment count" but it is true. The future is uncertain, take time to focus your attention and affection on making high quality memories. In the end, it's what you get to keep, not money or material goods.
Ask a dying person what they value most or wish for more of. Time with the people they love. Good time, good memories.
Lessons we've mused on this week:
1. Listen. Listen carefully. If you're friend isn't enthusiastic about a venture that you are, don't drag them. You could be missing quality time with other friends, in other places, and putting stress on that friend through pressuring them. Listen.
2. Prioritize. Take time to seek out the people who work to stay connected with you. Life is like an ocean. Currents pull us in a thousand directions, if someone cares enough to throw you a line return the favor and value the gift of their connection.
3. Even the free do not always have free time. Friends love you, but schedules happen. Don't resent, accept and move forward.
4. Check your gear in advance. Communicate rather than assume. It's not rude unless it's not done.
5. Watch how people treat the people around you. It's not attractive or cool to have someone ignore or belittle your friends and loved ones to butter you with compliments. Focus away from that toward the sincere friends around you, or have fun putting them on the spot by complimenting and including the person(s) they'd rather not. It could be a good lesson for them.
6. Appreciate the people who care, don't belittle them. Nurture them the way they nurture you. Appearances can be deceptive- like biting a chocolate confection only to taste kerosene inside- skip it.
7. Accept and move on, if someone doesn't value you like you value them. Quit wasting your energy, give it to the people jumping hoops to see you smile.
There are words you never say unless you want an argument:
"You're so negative," "you argue...," "you always" and "you never."
Guaranteed Bickersons episodes will follow. Not sure who they are? Google it...
The people around you are mirrored glass. You can see and hear how you interact and how you prioritize by who is there and how they act.
If you want to see beauty there, you have to put it there. If you want light and trust, communication and value, you have to put it there. If you want to see a friend smile, give them care. If you want to see them wilt, put them last or criticize them, or put them in situations that make them uneasy without support. Support the people who support you.
Choose wisely who is there. Some people aren't worth the effort of trying to teach- and some are downright toxic, pushing away and trying to undermine healthy relationships you have.
I always wish I could give my friends perfect stories, perfect lives, that I could give them the most valuable gift.
Then Danny reminds me I do. I value them and I love them. I listen to them. I care. It's worth more than gold.
Lessons. Learn, relearn.