October 30, 2015

Me, Social?

A while ago I'd been feeling like my life was getting a little monotonous. I could have worked on some projects around the house or done some cleaning and organizing but my motivation to do anything had been majorly lacking. Sometimes I forget how much spending time with friends and family can improve my state of mind. Thankfully this past month my social calendar has been pretty full and it has helped to elevate my boredom and also make me a little more productive when I do have free time.

My activities this month included a trial Dungeons and Dragons night with some work friends (it was everyone's first time playing and was pretty fun! It's ok you can make fun of me), a visit downtown to check out some cool art and have dinner with Brian and his parents, I had a girls afternoon with lunch and a movie (Crimson Peak) this past Sunday, and this upcoming weekend Brian and I are having our Lansing friends and their vizsla over to do fun Halloweeny things. Along with working every third weekend it sounds like I had a very full month but surprisingly it doesn't feel overwhelming or like I have no time for myself which is how I sometimes feel when I have a lot of social engagements scheduled. 

I'm not usually so social. I'm actually a very introverted person and most of the time I'd prefer to stay home and be comfortable and cozy rather than go out and do things and talk to people. Don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy spending time with people other than my husband and I know that being social is part of being a happy and healthy human being, but even when I am looking forward to friend or family time I sometimes still feel the pang of, "oh man, I wish I didn't have plans tomorrow", just because staying at home and being lazy feels so much easier. Other times my insecurities arise and I wonder why people even invite me to things because what do I really bring to the table? Also it can be nerve wracking for me to put myself in new situations with new people while trying to still be myself. When I let my thoughts run wild I can talk myself out of going to something I've committed to which is so silly, especially when I start to feel lonely or bored because I have nothing to do.  I'm starting to realize that fretting about future events never does any good and only fills my head with negative useless thoughts. Even when I am completely dreading a social event, afterwards I usually find that it really wasn't so bad and all of my time spent worrying and wasting a perfectly good mood was completely unnecessary. I know that although I may not be the most fun or outgoing person in the room, as long as I am having a good time that's all that really matters.

I'm always working on being present and not feeling negative emotions due to situations that are in the future and so whenever I've been getting these feelings of discontent I've been trying to replace them with feelings of excitement and gratitude. Not everyone is as blessed as I am to have a variety of really great people to be around and who want to be around me. Not everyone has the time or the means to spend an evening away from home. I only have a husband and a dog to worry about and I appreciate how easy it is for me to get away and do my own thing once in a while. Being grateful for simply having friends and the ability to spend time with them eases my mind and helps me to stay positive and present and look forward to upcoming social events.

It's so important to cherish and nurture friendships. Life can be hard sometimes and going through it alone can make it even more difficult. The support and feeling of belonging received from strong friendships is so beneficial when facing challenging times. Just having someone to talk to makes a world of difference.

It's not always easy to plan dedicated friend time on a regular basis. Life gets busy and it can be hard to coordinate schedules and find something fun to do, but if you are intentional about making your social life a priority you will make it work and find that in the end it is always so worth it.

Walking in the American Heart Association Heart walk with my girls. 

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