Knowing when to let go

January 16, 2013

Relationships as well as friendships are much like marriages; it’s important to know when to let go. It can happen at either end. We all have a choice as to whether we wish to continue to be part of any relationship and either party can decide the time is up. The degree of anguish, hurt, or relief is a matter of which end of things one is on.
friendLe’s take an example. Suppose you’ve been in a very long friendship, say one that has endured for 25 or 30 years. You and your friend have exchanged visits, holiday cards, gone on trips together and talked about each other’s families for all those years. And then one day you begin to have trouble reaching this friend. At first, you figure he/she is just busy. After all, you’ve been friends for so many years and you didn’t have any arguments, what else could it be? So you begin to figure out what the other person is doing that would keep them from responding to you. Perhaps one of their children has been ill, or maybe they’ve been dealing with life issues that they don’t want to bother you with. This begins the excuse stage.

Next comes the worry stage. This is where you really start to wonder why your long-time friend isn’t returning your phone calls and/or emails. You begin to go over the last conversation you had examining how it went. Could there have been some clue that you missed? Why doesn’t he/she get back to you? Is something going on that you haven’t figured out yet?

Then there is the irritation stage. What have I done to deserve this behavior? So you try again. With one last attempt to be nice and give the other person the benefit of the doubt, you write an email, “I know how busy you must have been since I think one of your children is due to be married….”. A few weeks later, a response comes with no salutation, just the news that indeed the daughter or son or whomever did get married, but it happened months before (so guess what? You weren’t invited and I’m only telling you now to get you off my back…. Words in parenthesis are unspoken but implied). Wow. Now you know. It’s final. The relationship no longer has meaning. If your words of congratulations had meaning, then the news would have been provided more timely. People send invitations even to those they know can’t come just to “include” them. At a minimum, they send a notice. Not to receive anything is certainly a realization that one is less than an acquaintance. How did this happen?

When one begins the process of re-evaluation of the relationship, the whole thing begins to unravel. Was it ever a friendship or just a matter of convenience? No response is necessary. No other phone calls will ever be made or answered. It’s done. The realization is complete that the relationship is over. All that is left is to accept that a life-long friend may have been a mirage.

Talk about a life lesson. How can one discern friendship? Perhaps it was there for a while. Perhaps it wasn’t. All we can do is live with it and hope that our new friends are more worthy of our time and attention.

ECN Blog Article: New Year’s Resolutions – Less is More

January 10, 2013

It’s really hard to believe that we’re really here in 2013. It seems so futuristic. I can remember when such a date was so far into the future and now its well, here. So now that I’ve accepted the date, I guess it’s appropriate to figure out what to do with this New Year. What resolutions are appropriate for such a special date as 2013? What comes to my mind is to consider that less is really more. Ok, so this one is going to take some explanation. Well, what did you expect?

First, let’s take a look at what resolutions are meant to accomplish. We write down statements at the beginning of the year to help us resolve to do better, become a better person and thus create space to move forward in our lives. Thus, these positive statements become resolutions. I’ve even heard some people say that they don’t make resolutions so that they never have to worry about letting themselves down or failing. That’s one way to look at it. Of course, it’s the negative way. I prefer to be more positive. Remember that nothing positive starts from a negative so certainly we shouldn’t be negative about our New Year’s resolutions. With this concept in mind, let’s begin.

We must first evaluate our priorities. What is really important? If it isn’t important why would we want to worry about it in the first place? Why would we want to change it? So, what is important to you and what do you want to do about it?

Next, how do you make room for the things that you’ve listed as important? Remember the old rock in the jar trick? Put the big rocks in the jar first and then fill around the rocks with smaller pebbles and finally, fill in the empty space with sand. The big rocks are the big things in your life that you’re making room for first. The smaller pebbles are the next level items and then the sand is everything else that we might want to do with our lives. Seems pretty simple until we get going with an activity that’s just wasting time but we keep doing it any way. I’ve been guilty of researching some silly thing that I really don’t need for hours on the internet with a really hard time to break away. It can become addictive even when one knows that it’s happening. So, remember the big rocks and why they go into your jar of life first.

Back to the less is more. Fewer rocks will fit into the jar but they will be the important things in your life. Thus, in the end your will have more of what gives you pleasure in your life. Less will become more. Become aware of the time wasters like the internet surfing I described or perhaps you have your own distraction (sports on TV, or other TV programs, or perhaps more serious addictions) and do less of it.

Be sure to include your favorite people in your life. Make time to visit, socialize, talk and interact in real time rather than just texting, emailing, etc. We need to really be among and with people. Too often these days people are with technology and not interacting with their families, friends and communities. Get back to doing things with people and gain humanity. Less technology and more humanity is a really good resolution.

How can you create a New Year’s resolution for 2013 where less is more?

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