A long time ago, I encountered this table while staying at the Friends’ House in Beacon Hill (in Boston). Way back then I remarked how much I’d like to have such a table for entertaining someday.
Our current kitchen table isn’t quite that large, but it does handily seat at least eight people once the leaf is inserted. And lately we’ve had a houseful of visitors from overseas, stretching that capacity to the maximum.
As I pondered that this afternoon (while hearing the happy noises of friends coming from downstairs) I realized just how much I enjoy entertaining and how I had imagined this future for myself many times: to break bread with good and generous people, who are at ease and hopeful about their lives. People who know how to laugh and relax…and then wash the dishes together afterwards…
Like so many of you, I miss GoogleReader. It was an essential part of starting my day, to peruse the posts in my Reader and to delight over the images and words of friends and colleagues.
I’ve migrated my feeds.* But it’s not the same and I am grieving.
One thing I liked about GReader, was scrolling through the lists of subscriptions with no recent updates. There I had feeds from several friends who are now dead and from many many more friends whose blogs are now dead but they are still very much alive. Having this historical record of blogs-once-loved was like my box of worn love-letters from the beaus I had when we used to put pen to paper to express our feelings. But I don’t know where to put my list of old RSS feeds so I can keep them safe from moth and dust (and the whims of google).
And perhaps even more than that, I’m longing for those days where we were all homesteading our own writerly spaces and finding our voices and commenting and blogging together. Facebook is no substitute, and if anything losing GReader has increased my dissatisfaction with that platform even more than before (because people don’t write on Facebook–they kvetch).
*I’m using bloglovin’ to read blogs now, and you can do the same by clicking the link in the sidebar here…and they can even import your feeds from GReader.
Reading Andrea’s post about busy-ness reminded me of a change I made awhile ago. I decided that I wouldn’t reply to people that I was “busy” or “too busy” when they made a request. Because it seemed that I’d fallen into a pattern of using that excuse to get out of doing things that weren’t important to me. Instead, I started replying with a more specific response, either letting them know what was precluding me from attending their party/concert/kaffeeklatsch or explaining that I couldn’t help them because I had another responsibility that was taking priority at the moment.
Doing so gave me the opportunity to affirm my priorities, such as replying that I couldn’t attend an event because I wanted to spend time with my daughter that night, or I couldn’t join in on gathering because it was a morning that I needed to be out on the ocean, getting some exercise. I’d like to think that it made my relationships with my friends and associates more authentic, too. Because I was able to honestly respond to their requests with an affirmative “Yes, I will attend,” or a “No, I have another engagement that will take precedence on my calendar.” I’m not sure if that was how it was received, but it made me feel better than just the canned reply of “oh, I can’t–too busy.”
But, additionally, I have been trying to take more time for friends lately. A chat in front of the fireplace, taking a yoga class together, or even just a brief phone call. I don’t want to ever be “too busy” for friends, and it feels good to make time with them as a higher-priority item on my list of possibilities.