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Age: 37
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State: South Carolina
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Friday, November 14, 2008


[5/6] – Doing Something About It
Current mood: giddy
Category: Life

[This is part five in a series - ya better go back and get caught up, slacker!]

In Refrigerator Rights, Dr. Will Miller paints what seems like a desperate dire picture of human relationships in developed societies.  But he also points out that the fix is just as simple as can be.  Simply spend time with the people you love!

I used to say to gym clients that losing weight was simple – but that doesn't mean it's easy.  There's no mystery to 'do more, eat less'.  It takes consistent discipline, which isn't about beating up on your self.  It's deciding to make the right decision every hour of every day for a long time.  Ultimately, it means changing your habits.  That's just what we're talking about here!

Some of you have close family, even a small family of your own [or not so small ;-) ].  That probably means a good number of gatherings during the year, holidays and birthdays and such.  Sometimes these will seem like a pain, and often one or more family member will seem bothersome, but hey – it's family.  You deal with everything from spilt milk to crazy uncles, together.

What about your friends and your peers?  Do you interact with them in any similar circumstance?  I bet that on a typical weeknight you are doing the exact same things as your friends in similar situations.  When you're wrangling kids after school, trying to get a reasonable dinner out of the oven, hoping to get a teeny bit of quiet TV time in before bed – most everybody else you know is doing the same thing!  I submit that in that quiet hour at the end you would feel tremendously more contented if some part of that evening had been shared by good friends.

So do it!  Have a rotating dinner night.  Take turns hosting a simple sit-down dinner with a few friends, with or without the kids.  Make the time regular, and mix up the activities (even nothing is a perfectly ok thing to do).

There's no limit to the to-do ideas:
-    Rotating dinner night
-    Game night (family-friendly or otherwise)
-    Yard work parties (Seriously!  Trade off on these for a few weeks)
-    Video game party
-    Theme parties [e.g. murder-mystery-in-a-box kits]
-    Afternoon in the park
-    Roast of a random person (who thinks it's someone else until her or she arrives)
-    Group pet walk (or grooming day, whatever)
-    Key Party  [Ok, just kidding about that one. (Mostly.)]

You're more clever than me, what are your cheap and easy ideas?  

To cut short the ready excuses, note that any of these involve hosting only once a month or so, if a few people take turns.  You do clean house more than once a month already, right?  And most of these involve splitting work, like making food dishes.  Getting together for a meal should be simpler than doing it separately, not more complicated.

There are two things I'm pushing here in particular.  There should not be a permanent divide between home life and time with friends, so some times there are activities where kids can come along.  There also should be some variety in the grown-up events.  Falling in to the same old bar is ok, but there has to be some variety for really rich deep relationships to hold up.

There's probably one or two nights a week you have nothing scheduled, and you wind up bored [just watch the myspace surveys pile up some evenings...].  Let other people know about it – they probably have the exact same problem!

(Did you really think we'd get all the way through this with without a LOLcat?)
Greenvillians – we already have one person who's stood up and answered the call!  Valarie is hosting a game and pot-luck night on Friday November 21st in Simpsonville.  You *are* interested and you could not *possibly* have better plans.  She doesn't bite (unless you ask real nice, or you deserve it), and the dog only bites a little.
Coming soon - My Personal Pledge!
Same bat-time, same bat-station.  Stay tuned!!

{on to part 6}

Currently listening :
Family Style
By Vaughan Brothers
Release date: By 1990-09-07

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