Sunday, January 5, 2014

Worth the effort

The other night, I babysat my nephews while my sister and brother-in-law went on a date. Occasionally, I witness the life my sister lives, and I feel this urge to help. And oddly enough, I thought helping was to remind her of what an awesome person she is to hang out with, and the reason my brother-in-law is lucky to have her.

Sis: Dinner was so much fun!
Me: I'm so glad!
Sis: [30 minute description of dinner]
Me: Oh good, you tried all the good stuff.

Next morning...

Sis: Dinner was so much fun!

Next afternoon...

Sis: Dinner was so much fun!

That's when I knew that she really must've had fun.

I have this unwavering belief that every relationship requires effort. I'm not talking about the relationship my sister has with her husband. That's beyond my juridiction. No. I'm talking about the relationship I have with my sister.

As the saying goes, every person has a different way of showing love. Words. Actions. Whatever else is in that book.

But the way I show love is to adapt to how that person receives it.

For my sister, the way to show her that I love her is to think from her point of view, recognize what she would appreciate, and do those things without her having to ask. And lucky for me, I can do this fairly easily, mostly because I've known her for 30 years.

I think my sister misses the person she was before kids. Not that she doesn't love her kids, I've never seen another human love her kids as much as she loves hers. But before she had kids, my sister was a fun-loving, outgoing LA girl who tried the best restaurants and had great adventures with her husband. But two kids, a full-time job, a mortgage, and endless responsibilities can take its toll.

I just wanted to remind her that she's still that girl. And that girl came home from dinner on Friday night.

As 2014 moves forward, I am continuing to add new goals to my list. One of those goals is to show those around me that I love them, to invest in the relationships I have with my family and friends. And to take the time to learn how that person receives love. Because honestly, it's worth it.

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