19 Comments

  1. I am seriously touched that you’re always showing up for me, friend. Especially back in August with all of that going on, we still texted and visited up at Lake Geneva and then a week or so later in DC!
    We may be half a continent apart and mostly know each other from our writings on the internet, but you’re a favored friend.
    As for your question, I can’t always be there in person, so I am always available to text or chat, and I will almost always open my wallet for causes dear to my friends. Sometimes it’s the only way to share a piece of my heart with them in the moment.

    • You are seriously someone I am trying to emulate more. I’m always good about requesting books for my library, but I’m going to try to get better about buying books (and products!) to support blogger buddies. Even if I don’t need them myself, I can spread the wealth. And you are exceptional at doing that!

  2. Yeah, that’s a chilling line, taken in the right context. And I think running is a common metaphor in PF because I keep finding out so many people are current or former runners, lol. I’ve come up with many a post while running and it’s easy to see the corrolaries when i’m reviewing my stats at the end of the run and see my speed drop off at the end or the speed decrease when i got to a hill, or that sort of thing.

    But yes, who you take time for is important. When I first quit work to focus on more family time, I felt like that wasn’t enough and I had to justify myself with past titles, what I used to do, what I accomplished before I “quit life” kind of thing.

    Now, I’m like, yep, I’m a SAHD. No excuses, or mentioning past life, career, future job, etc… Just SAHD, oh, and PTA, and cub scouts, and CASA. But those don’t even get brought up anymore because who gives a shit? If that’s how Iw ant to spend my time great, if I was just a lazy SAHD that didn’t volunteer anywhere (besides Mrs SSC not letting that happen and I’d go crazy) no one would look at me any different than they do now. Ah, rural America where you can do you.

    But I like it and get fulfillment out of it. Like this weekend, I started getting all sorts of “pins” popping up on a PTA messenger thread with, “can you make this?” And holy hell, I can make all the things she sent over (except the rustic tree cake stand. i could make it but I wouldn’t trust food on it, lol) and now I have a stack of woodworking projects that we can sell at our Xmas market booth in 2 months to raise money for PTA and the kids. Double win!! Sorry for the epic comment, but it’s awesome seeing how life comes together and gets settled and even ore awesome now that I can combine my hobbies with my volunteer stuff to help out the school and promote my hobbies!

  3. Great post! I thought of this very thing last weekend when I was busy working on freelance projects, and I did do something community-oriented by volunteering at a trail run race, but I didn’t really know anybody, and they didn’t know me. A friend texted me and asked how my weekend was. I said, “fine…kind of boring.” He called 10 minutes later and said he was in my neighborhood and did I mind having a visitor. We’re really close, so he came in and crawled in bed with me because I was just feeling low and watching TV in my room. We decided to go for a walk and ultimately have a glass of wine and some dessert at a local restaurant, which was soooo good. I lamented that I SHOULDN’T be eating out under my extremely tight budget, but that that visit from him, the walk, the dessert made me feel SO much better! Sometimes, not always, you need to break away from all the crazy, restricted rules we set for ourselves and do what feels right in the moment!

  4. “If I can lose hours a day scrolling through social media and doing the open-close-open dance with the work email app on my phone, I can take fifteen minutes (or 5!) to check in.”

    Ugh, yes, this is so true. How many HOURS do I waste on the phone scrolling vs. connecting? It’s not the technology’s fault, exactly…it’s me! I can certainly use my phone to connect with others rather than just mindlessly consuming.

    • That’s exactly it for me, Kristen. Scrolling and consuming content isn’t connecting. Now, I try to be really deliberate. If I’m on Instagram, I want to leave a comment or share a thought. Not just scroll, scroll, scroll.

  5. I guess I’m blessed because I have a lot of free time. Too much, really, so I’m thinking about starting to write freelance. But the free time means that I can be there for people — fatigue permitting, of course. That’s the bigger impediment to last-minute plans or whatnot.

    Still, if it involved travel I’d definitely have to do some scrambling. But I’d hope that I’d be able to show up for a sick relative, especially one at the end of his or her life. Especially since I work remotely.

    I’m glad you were able to be there for the relative. Sometimes our lives/priorities need to be jarred a bit for us to be reminded of how we should be organizing/prioritizing.

    • Amazingly? She’s still alive. The doctors said they don’t think it’s for any other reason than she found some real will to live. She’s definitely terminal, and I expect to get The Call any day, but I can’t even believe what was supposed to be another week with her turned into months.

  6. “If you can’t spend money, spend time. If you can’t be there in person, be there somehow.”

    Amen. I think you’ve hit on one of the more sinister parts of money, or what old timey Christians would probably clarify as the love of money. That it has an opportunity cost: the time we spend working for money or optimizing the money we have is time we aren’t spending on other things.

    Am I spending too much time on the financial aspects of my life? And if so, at whose expense?

    • I was actually thinking really hard about that this weekend. Our community does a food drive where people set bags out on their doorsteps. There are houses that are too big, cars that are too expensive, and boats. Oh the boats!

      But you know what else? There were bags and bags of donations. Our church needed SEVEN U-Haul trucks to get everyone to the food pantries.

      These are the same people that are dismissed by much of the community because they’re “The Joneses.” Wow. Who else am I turning my back on?

  7. Pamela Gray

    Thank you for sharing the video link. ‘Crazy busy’ is my badge I struggle with, and Tim Kreider pulls no punches calling me out on it. And thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • Tim Ferriss did an episode that is the just the Tim Kreider bit. I downloaded, and I force myself to listen to it at least once a quarter. It’s *so* well done, and it’s so easy to mean to take action on it and forget. So I force myself to go back and make sure that I’m at least attempting to follow through.

  8. In person and phone calls are incredibly hard for me so those are infrequent, but I make it a point to visit everyone we can in CA once a year. Even with determination, there are a lot of people I still don’t see because we can’t squeeze them all in.

    I write handwritten letters to parental figures, send buckets of photos digitally to friends on the East Coast who want them, and text regularly to check in on people. I stretch myself with every single thing. It’s worth it but it IS a stretch and i have to remember that I can’t stretch all the time or I’ll become brittle and snap.

    As worthy as it is to be the person checking in regularly, it’s also quite taxing and I have to refill my bucket with solo time just as much. That’s a hard balance because just as much as there’s this “self care self care self care!” mantra, there’s as intense a need to connect meaningfully.

    • Oh, yes. It is EXHAUSTING when you are doing all the checking. I think people see that and think “Oh, that person is fine!” but we probably need to check in on those who look out for us the most, you know?

      I always admire how selfless you are, Revanche. And I also want to make sure you think of yourself from time to time <3

  9. During my 20s, I used to be the guy that would show up almost everything for my friends. I thought it would show them that I can be relied on all the time to be at their events. But as time went by I realized that it was more of burden on myself to do that because I would turn down invites from family members whenever they had something going on. I figured why do that on family so nowadays my friends can still rely on me on showing up from time to time but like I used to. I have a higher priority for my family and myself and realized that the best decision to make.

  10. Showing up. I didn’t realize how truly important this is until I needed people to show up for me. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to fully heal and grow from the experience if it wasn’t for friends that consistently showed up for me.

    And even though I realize it’s importance, I still find that it takes a significant effort on my part to step away from myself, my busyness, to show up for others.

    Great post and thanks for the reminder to send a few texts.

  11. Wow, what a powerful story. And I’m so sorry for your loss. A recent health scare has had me really rethinking how I spend my time and even my attitude and thought life, too. All turned out well with me, but I don’t want to lose the insights before I knew I was in the clear. And now that I’m properly treated, feeling better, and not having a bunch of appointments, I am getting back to volunteering at my kids’ school and making those coffee dates.

    Anyway, this is a welcome message in the midst of the self-care and productivity buzz so common these days.

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