Last week I had the extreme pleasure of being taken to lunch by a really good friend of mine. It was a spontaneous and well needed break in my afternoon schedule. We spent the afternoon playing catch up and discussing how we wanted to make some changes in the New Year. She recently got married and I have made a few changes in my life as well and realized that our schedules had become extremely demanding. We both came to the conclusion that although our schedules were demanding of our time, we needed some time to visit with one another, even if it was just long enough to have a cup of tea and a quick hug.
As we sat there I began to internalize the need and realized that it was something that I really needed not just because I wanted something to do but because the relationships I have are important to me. Any relationship ,over an extended period of time, tends to change and needs to be maintained and refreshed. It doesn’t matter who it is, a parent, sibling, spouse, close friend, or child, relationships need to be nurtured. By the time the check came I had made a very important decision that I thought would not only help me come outside of my normal blah routine, but would ensure that I was investing myself into the important relationships in my life.
I was going to develop a social calendar. The thought of it was exciting enough but after running the idea by my girlfriend I realized that the idea was not just good for me but for everyone, especially women who had consumed themselves with the responsibilities of home, family, work, and partners. Before we left the restaurant we had decided on a standing appointment with one another, once a month, so that we could get together and catch up. When I left, not only was I excited, I was inspired.
I don’t know about any of you but, I love to get random confirmations that my ideas are not just beneficial to me, but the people around me ,and no not more than a week later while I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, I come across not 1 but 2 articles stressing the same thing.
If you have never been on Black And Married With Kids now is a good time to subscribe. They always have articles that make you evaluate yourself and what you are doing to improve your overall happiness. These articles were no exception. They contained their usual motivational components. In the articles Thou Shall Not Lose Thyself In Thy Marriage In 2012 and Preparing To Become A Wife – 10 Tips For Single Women, the authors stressed the importance of having time for yourself. They also made a point to add that having time for your friends is healthy and needed. I thought both articles made very good points and concentrated on the fact that Women, married or single, need to have a healthy dose of social interaction with others and time alone in order for them to be all they can be in the other areas of their lives.
This prompted me to take my lunch date with one friend to another level. Not only did I make a standing monthly appointment with her for the rest of the year, I did the same thing with 8 other important people in my life. The idea was such a hit that everyone I asked decided to develop their own social calendars. Yay!…
To make this more special for my important people I asked each of them to come up with a list of things we had in common and what they would like to do. There is no reason why you can’t incorporate your hobbies and interests into your calendar as well. Who wants to do the same thing all of the time. I wanted my dates with these people to be meaningful and productive. So that means do some research and see what’s happening around you. You don’t always have to go out to eat or to a movie, find things that don’t cost money or that might involve taking a day trip to a nearby town. The sky is the limit.
By developing an agenda you don’t have to worry about over scheduling and being stressed out. This allows for time to plan ahead and be creative with your time. You get the opportunity to spend time with people you want to, and you have the flexibility to change things if you need to. This is not a sure-fire way to spend time with everyone in your life but it helps you manage your time better and cultivate healthy relationship. I don’t know about you but my pen and calendar are ready. Make the most out of your time and spend it doing the things that you enjoy with the people who matter. You will be a better person for it and you can never say that you don’t have anything to do.