Happy Wife – Happy Life … we’ve all heard this one (and, now I finally realize why it was created in the first place!). But, what about Happy Friend – See You Again? Okay, maybe it is a far stretch on that, but I think I’m kind of liking it 🙂 Where am I going with this? Science has recently given us piles upon piles of new data recognizing multiple dimensions are contributing to our barometer of balance: family, friends, health, work, and worship … just to name the most prominent. If I were talking to myself ten years ago, I would have said: “These need to stay on their own track – don’t mix any one together – one dimensional is the way to do it best.”
In fact, I’ll be honest – I actually did that. I started my career with a habit of never taking a lunch. I’d nibble on things at my desk, but leaving the office was like the sin of all sins. In my mind: “Who does that? If you have time to leave the office, you are not busy enough“. … Yes, that is how my mind has worked for over a decade!
And, in extension to this, not only would I NOT conceive leaving the office for lunch as something available to me, but I also built a practice of never mixing my dimensions. For instance, sure I made friends at work, but having a friendship with them outside of work … it just felt wrong; not because I didn’t want to, but that friendship stayed in a ‘workbox’. In all honesty, I know the guilt I’d bare if the last spare hours of my time for my family I let be interjected with work. So, to minimize the guilt I just didn’t sign myself up for out-of-office friendships with colleagues.
And, my personal friendships … I never mingled that part of my life during business hours, either. I’m sure you’re not surprised by this … given me even taking lunch was incomprehensive. In reflection what is sad about that is the fact my office hours consumed the majority of my time and the highest percentage of my remaining time went to family. Was I … or heck, am I, a bad friend? I’ll let my friends be the judge of that, but I know I have had many times holding a heavy heart because I’ve malnourished friendships … and these girls are amazing people. Heck, if I were them I would have conspired to create a game called: Where In The World Is Bridgette!
But, things have changed for me lately. I’ve chosen to be more mindful and reflective in 2017, and in doing this recently, I found two little angels on my shoulder saying: “I love my work. I love my friends“. And, the little darn devils on the other side telling me: “Work is not done outside of the office setting, or the home office … I can’t possibly sit down at a restaurant and work while a friend is at the table – how rude can you seriously be? … You’re cheating your work and your friendship by mixing the two.” Ugg … this devil had a lot to say.
Devil be gone! Here is me remembering balance … I decided it was time for me to put myself out on a limb – to change things up a little … you know, get myself out of my “norm”. I had a lunch work date with my girlfriend today … a Double-Up if you will. We discussed in advance that we’d be open to both bringing work with us and that spending half of the lunch time together catching up would be great, and the other half of the time we’d spend working on our own things … just working in the company of each other. I found myself in complete happiness at that moment!
Was it possible to catch up with my girlfriend – absolutely! Did I get some work done – you betcha! I seriously could have walked out of the restaurant hopping up in the air and clicking the back of my heels, but the last time I tried that I tripped and didn’t land very graceful! (How my nine-year-old daughter can do it … she’s my hero every time!) I seriously should have been Doubling-Up for years!!! I’ll look at myself in the mirror tonight and call myself names in the book for this one, but I’ll also remind myself of the infamous words of Boutros Boutros-Ghali: “Only stupid people do not change their minds.”
If you are wiser than me and have been doing Double-Ups already – you’re way cooler than me! BUT, hopefully, this post inspires you to book one today and get one penciled on the calendar … like pronto. And, if you’re more like me and are opening your eyes to doing things differently, reach out to a girlfriend and schedule a Double-Up – I would be surprised if you regret it 🙂 And, to loop back around as to why is this good for you? Because you’re making the most of your time in
My friend Angela and I had our first Double-Up at Tiny No. 5 … I included some photos of this charming little restaurant gem. Do you have a favorite place for Double-Ups? If so, comment below! I’ll have to add them to my list.