I just read in the Oprah magazine, which I got for $2.99 at Home Goods (where I was DRAGGED by Bobbe Underwood) that men raised with a sister had more happiness in adult life - and it had reasons - all tied to what women do for each other ... no I am not going to tell you - go get your own Oprah magazine (at Home Goods where there is all kinds of good stuff for cheap.)
Anyway, I digress. So Bobbe and I spend the day together looking for an Easter outfit for her, trying on clothes, sharing a Chipotle Burrito Bol, laughing at ourselves, helping each other make good decisions that aren't based on obligation and expectation but on what makes our hearts sing.
For instance, Bobbe does not garden. Not in the sense that I garden. I garden like some people eat chocolate. Bobbe sighs and picks out a few obnoxious weeds and tries to remember to water her potted plants. I read to my plants. Name them. Give them treats.
Bobbe was feeling a sense of "I need to plant pansies." Of course, all good homeowners plant pansies this time of year. But you know what? It is ridiculous for Bobbe to plant pansies when planting pansies is work and not pleasure. Her yard is beautiful and has enough green... so I helped set her free. We decided together that Bobbe should get a couple lovely potted flowers and put them on her deck where she sits.
The wisdom is this: don't let other people download their causes or their pleasures on you. Listen for sure. But appraise and be honest. CSLewis says that each person's life can only contain so many themes. Do you know what your themes are? I do. But I have had to listen to my life to know. The joys of listening to our own life is not only knowing what we can say no to, but we know how to live our own life beautifully.