Best start putting first things first.
Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can’t flip over and start again
Take every breath God gives you for what it’s worth~ Kenny Chesney, Don’t Blink

It’s that time of year again. Yes, winter. Bet you thought I was going to talk about the various holidays. Nope, just winter.

Actually, this entry is about every day. It seems that during winter, people get wrapped up in how many people they can meet up with, how many dinners they prepare, how many cards they send out and so on. It’s like cramming a year’s worth of living into 45 days.

Personally, I stopped trying to cram it all in a few years ago. My health declined, my energy level declined and, if I’m being honest, I became depressed about a number of things. There were some rituals I held dear that my family didn’t share any enthusiasm for. Twelve years of military hustle and bustle set me up to expect holiday parties. And then, I realized that I neglected some very important people in my life in my rush to meet expectations.

What good was trying to pass on tradition if my kids hated it and would really rather do something else? Why was I running around spending money to show how much I “loved” someone? And the most important question of all…what about the rest of the year? Was I nurturing relationships all the time, or only when society deems it socially necessary?

Because life is about relationships. It’s about having a group of people in your life that you enjoy being around most of the time (yes, most because all is too confining). It’s about providing mutual support, that shoulder to cry on or that ear to listen. Not just once a year, but all the time. Maintaining solid relationships takes work, not just a dinner party once a year.

I’m not saying “Bah, humbug” to the winter season. I am saying that if we put half as much effort into our relationships throughout the year as we do right now, we just might discover how truly wonderful our friends are. I purposefully do not host parties during the early winter months. I wait until there’s nothing “exciting” going on and then invite people over. I get to actually talk with my friends instead of whipping through the kitchen making sure everything is perfect. No one is in a rush.

My challenge to you…look at everything you’ve done so far this winter. Yes, I know technically winter doesn’t start until December 21, but you know what I mean. Are you building memories or frustration? Are you so busy you aren’t enjoying and cherishing your relationships? Now, how could you spread things out so you get to enjoy the people in your life all year long?

Why treat one part of the year as special when it comes to your relationships? Not to be too morbid, but you never know what the next year will bring. Embrace yourself and your friends every day, because you can’t turn the hourglass over again.

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