Monday, December 22, 2008
Priorities speak volumes
I've been eyeing a recipe in a new cookbook for mile high brownies. The recipe calls for icing, but I decided not to make it. It also calls for yogurt and I substituted sour cream and added two teaspoons of espresso powder. They turned out really good. One more baking item down for the holiday dinner. I'll probably make mushroom caviar and sweet potato puffs for appetizers to go with the cranberry glazed ham. Since the pumpkin flan turned out so well for Thanksgiving, I'm making it again. A few veggies and maybe some mashed potatoes and gravy and that should do it. There will be a couple bottles of wine to go with dinner, but I think I'm in good shape, except for the egg nog and gingerbread, but those will be no problem at all.
I wonder sometimes why we don't go all out for every day dinners. There's a lot of work involved, but the results are worth it, especially when there are friends to share the meal. I think I'll propose a monthly dinner to celebrate nothing in particular, except friendship and continued health.
Friends are around more during the holidays, too, although some friends are so busy they can't afford more than five minutes a day to say hello and chat for a while. No matter how busy the days, friends should be able to carve out more than five minutes a day, judging by some of my friends who inundate me with phone calls and emails all hours of the day and night without cease. A happy medium between five minutes and monopolizing the whole day would be good.
New year's resolutions are usually a bad idea since they seldom last into February, but this year I'm making a resolution. If friends cannot spare more than five minutes a day, then it's time to say goodbye until their priorities or their schedules change. Even friends I haven't seen in years spare more than that and then there are the weekly marathon phone calls and chats and emails back and forth. My time is valuable and free time will be at a premium next year with three novels and six more anthologies coming out. And I'm working on another book. I don't have time to spare for people who have no time to spare for me. It's like pruning an LJ friends list in some ways, although I write more for myself than for any specific group of people. In that instance, stay if you want to read and go if you find nothing worth reading. I skip through some of your posts simply because I don't always have the time to read every word, but you'll never know which ones I skim and which ones I read every word because I don't always comment. I wonder if that means I can't spare five minutes a day for them. Hmm.
Relationships are about communication. If there is no communication, there really is no relationship. It's that simple. Stopping by once a month and emailing once or twice a day do not a relationship make. That makes an acquaintance -- and not a very good one at that.
I know this seems a bit cut throat, but there it is. If someone has the time to spend 12+ hours a week watching television, but no more than five minutes a day communicating and connecting then there's not much of a relationship happening -- nor likely to continue. It's like I tell people who say they want to write but don't have the time. If they watch television every night, or for several hours a day, and they really want to write, they'll give up at least 30 minutes of watching TV. If not, then they have no real interest in writing. Relationships, like writing, require commitment and sacrifice. If someone isn't willing to sacrifice even 30 minutes of TV to write -- or to communicate with a friend or loved one -- then their priorities say it all. They don't really want to write, they just like the idea of being a writer. It's sort of like being enthralled with the idea of love but not wanting to love someone -- or in this case, build a real relationship. A person's priorities tell you a lot about who they are and what is important to them and speak so much louder than empty promises and emptier words.
That is all. Disperse.