When your “to do” list spills onto a second or even a third page, the last thing you want is to add to it. So why on earth is today’s tip about going out of your way to take a line item off someone else’s list?
Hear me out on this one.
Isolation breeds stress. So does self-centeredness. It’s unnatural — we were created to be social (yes, even the introverts). In the pioneer days, women gathered to make quilts and can crops and do all sorts of back-breaking and eye-straining chores (have you ever tried to hand-stitch a quilt?) . . . not because they were incapable of doing a good job on their own, but because it presented an opportunity to get out and connect with other women.
We could learn a lot from our pioneer sisters. If we wait until we have spare time to connect, we miss out on a great gift. Authentic friendship shows itself not at the tea parties, but when it’s time to move or paint a room or check for lice (especially when your own head starts to itch …).
How’s that for a theme party, the next time there’s an outbreak in your child’s class: tapas and tea tree oil?
So … how to find those moments to connect? It starts by listening. The next time you’re sitting on a park bench, at a book club or church meeting, or waiting to pick your child up from CCD, listen for those cues.
- “You’re painting your daughter’s room this weekend? I always have a tough time getting the lines straight … Why don’t we let our kids play for an hour or two this weekend, and I can help you paint the walls while you teach me a few tricks about doing the corners?”
- “Are you having a First Communion get together, too? You make such great cakes. Would you be willing to show me how you decorate, if I bake cakes for both of us?”
- And yes, “Great. Another ‘lice outbreak’ email to parents today. My kid hates these combing sessions … How about we get them together to watch a video, while we check them? I’ll bring the wine.”
Sure, it’s a little more effort . . . but, who knows? Maybe you’ll make a friend, and learn something in the process.
Photo credit: “Quilting Bee” by Lynde Mott at LDS Art.