Relationships Aren’t Like Cactuses : Learning Intentionality

The older I get, the more I realize that being intentional is probably one of the most necessary character qualities to being an adult. Especially when it comes to having healthy relationships of any kind.

As a kid, my friends and I went to school together. For 9 months out of the year, we spent 5 days a week together. With ample time to chat and play during breaks/lunch/recess. Quality time wasn’t planned so much as it was planned for us. Many opportunities each day to be together and to build friendships. Birthday parties happened about every week, so there were always sleepovers and opportunities to make memories.

Then, with graduation, came transition. Some friends moved away, some friends stayed close.

Now, with careers, marriages, children, and a plethora of other commitments, I have realized one thing.

Relationships aren’t like cactuses. 

Cactuses don’t have to be watered. They don’t have to be taken care of. They don’t have to be looked at, or thought about. They just keep on growing. Those prickly little buggers….

Relationships are like babies.

They need attention. They need time. And energy.

So here’s the dilemma. The older I get, the less time it feels like I have. While being an adult has an element of freedom and independence, the flip side is that it also has a large element of responsibility.

So with all my freedom, I have to choose to be responsible. But I also have to choose to be intentional.

This is something that I am not always great at.

Confession : I’m not always the best initiator.

It’s something that with the fall and winter coming up, where photography is less busy, is at the top of my list of goals. To be intentional in my relationships.

But as September is already here, I am looking back over the past 8 months and really trying to evaluate where I put my time. What were the areas that I did good? What are the areas that I need to be better at? Where is my time going? I realized sometime this year that I don’t have to wait for a January 1st to set goals, or to evaluate my life. I can do it any day. Even a Tuesday, in the beginning of September.

I decided at the beginning of 2015 that I was going to set some boundaries when it came to my business. The first was only taking 15 weddings this year, so that I would have some weekends to be able to spend with my husband and my family. Secondly, I implemented some systems to make my editing & delivering of products and images more efficient and streamlined. And I also made sure that at least 1 night a week was spent doing nothing photography related. I will admit, in the midst of wedding season, that is harder and harder. But I am trying. To make sure that I can invest into my relationships.

So, this post is as much for me as it is for anyone else.

We have 3 months before the December Christmas Madness happens. 3 months where I am going to set some goals in my relationships. To spend some time investing into my marriage, my friendships, and my family to make sure that they are getting the attention they deserve. Whether that means a coffee date once a month or a phone call to check in.

Rabbit trail…Sometimes I think I forget how nice a phone call or a card can be to receive. So I hesitate to give them. It’s like I feel that if I can’t give someone 3 hours of my time, I should wait until I can…NOT THE CASE. If I have 15 minutes to call and chat with a friend, that is better than waiting 3 years to meet up. Right? I think so. You can disagree. That’s okay!

I will say this over and over. Nobody is an island. And living on an island results in making friends with volleyballs…hello, Tom Hanks. NOT my kind of friendship.

We NEED each other. To grow. To laugh with. To celebrate with. To cry with. To vent to. To dream with. To binge watch Netflix with. To make delish dinners with. To enjoy life with.

So cheers, friends. To being intentional. With whatever spare time we are given in order to make sure that we don’t start making friends with the basketballs, volleyballs, and baseballs in our garages.

Kels

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