I love people, and I so enjoy my friends. Last night we had a larger group of friends with families over to our house for the evening. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and ate potluck food that was so delicious. We had great conversations and I thoroughly enjoyed my evening. We try to do at least two get-togethers like this every year, one in the summer around the campfire and one in the winter, usually around Christmas time.

I find it interesting however, my personality. I so enjoy these parties, I know I am going to enjoy them, but for some reason I allow myself to worry too much about the “presentation,” forgetting that it’s about having people we enjoy come and spend an evening with us. This year in particular, the party is way later than usual. I worried about my yard, about my garden, about the stuff other family members have collected over the years that is around some of the yard. I worry about the yard not being finished, the house not being finished, I worry about lots of weird stuff for sure.

Today as I thought about how much we enjoyed our friends, I thought of how silly the worry is. That’s what I love about friends. They know who I am, they know how I am, and they are my friend anyway! I have a great family; they take me how I am, and they help me become better. But I have learned over the years, that my friends do the same thing. I was pondering this morning on a number of friends who have helped me over the years. I have one friend who, through example, taught me how to show appreciation for others. I still don’t do as great a job as my friend does consistently, but I am so much more conscientious about not just being grateful but vocalizing and showing my appreciation whether it be through a spoken thank you, or a card, or a small gift of appreciation.

I have a number of friends who have encouraged me over the last few years as I have learned to paint and begun my business. Asking what I’m painting currently, or what my new products are. Reading my blog and offering great suggestions, checking my website for glitches and then getting back to me when they find them so I can fix them. I have friends who send me funny texts that brighten my day. I have friends who send me heartfelt texts that mean so much to me and keep me going when I struggle. I have friends that I only see at community events, but who come and give me a hug and visit with me. Friends who share what they’re doing and give me ideas and inspiration. So many people who have taken time out of their days to say hi and spent time with me, even if it’s just a minute or two. I am so grateful!

I admire all those people out there who step out and say hi, especially the ones who I know have to step out of their comfort zone to do so. I am working on that and amazingly, it’s getting easier! I don’t know if I will ever get over my worry, but I hope that with each opportunity I have to open my home and share with friends, that the anxiety will lessen just a little bit more because I know, as I remembered last night, how much I will enjoy having friends come and visit and spend time. It was a wonderful evening.

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