Lately I’ve been thinking about the time and energy I invest not just in my physical possessions, in my home, and in my kids, but also in my relationships outside of my family. As we’ve continued in our Simple Year journey, it’s become clear that identifying your people is a really good idea. I don’t know if it’s a function of the project, my age, my life experiences as of late or a little bit of all of those.
Maybe it’s because I just celebrated another birthday, but I think one of the best parts of getting older is figuring out who I am and clearly identifying who my people are. Especially when a life crisis happens, your people tend to identify themselves in crystal clear fashion. Sometimes those you thought were your people aren’t actually. And figuring that out can hurt. Mostly, though, it’s a really good thing. Because you know.
Some of my people came to me later in life. Some have been by my side since I was a child. When life pulls the rug out from underneath you, or kicks you in the shins, or rains on your parade, you can count on your people. When your people are knocked down, you help pick them up. And each time that happens, your bond tightens.
And then there are those who you thought were one of your people until the shit hits the fan and you look around and they have disappeared. And that sucks. Because it stings. You mourn the loss. You might feel duped and embarrassed. But, really, it’s a gift. With a giant red bow.
It’s good to know who your people are.
My people love me, warts and all. And I love them, no matter how bad of a mood they were in the last time I saw them. My people and I share a history – some longer than others. We’ve shared pain. We’ve shared love. We’ve shared laughs.
I can call my people when I’m in trouble. When Stephen’s in trouble. When I need help. Even if they aren’t in Texas, I know if there was some crazy emergency, they’d hop on a plane without hesitation. And I’d do the same for them.
One of the results of my advanced years is that I no longer have a filter and my patience is limited. And you know what? My people still love me. And while this may sound callous, I’m no longer interested in investing time, energy, resources, whatever, to relationships that are one-sided. Knowing where to invest your very limited resources is a good thing.
This year has been enlightening. Not just from a decluttering perspective. I’ve been pretty introspective and done some serious soul searching figuring out what is most important. My family, of course. Identifying the physical stuff that we need and use. Eliminating duplicates or items that have no value. Shedding volunteer activities and time commitments. But it’s also been a great time to take a look at where I invest my time in terms of relationships outside of my family. Am I being a valuable, supportive friend to my peeps? Who needs my emotional support right now? Who can I really count on?
And knowing who my people are makes me happy.
Do you know who your people are?