Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stimulating company

You may have done the same thing.  We feel reluctant to vacuum or dust.  Those activities seem to represent stolen hours, boring hours. 

But then a friend calls.  We realize while talking that we haven't seen them for a while.  We think of our recent additions to the house and recent projects we haven't shown off to them.  We invite them over. They accept.  Now, we are energized.  The straightening, the dusting -- we dive into it with enthusiasm and energy.

Later, our friends arrive.  They compliment us on how nice the house looks.  Sometimes, we just accept the compliments and sometimes we mention that it didn't look so good just a little while ago. 

It is easy to think of having company in as a favor to them.  We give them coffee and some goodies.  We show them our latest photos and purchases.  But they are the ones doing us a favor.  Traveling through the winter cold, leaving their warm houses, shedding pajama and slippers, they come over.  The acceptance of the invitation and the honor of their visit are a compliment. 

But, the excitement of the arrival of friends is the real gift.  A little housework is easy and even enjoyed to prepare for a visit.  The honor of their presence is no small thing.  Especially as their house has some many delights and projects they themselves are working on.  Their computers, their music and televisions, their toys.  Sometimes, they are hoping for the doctor to call back or to hear from their accountant. 

Sure, we all benefit from spending time together.  It is not one sided.  We get ideas, clarifications and inspiration from each other.  But when they leave, and we still have our recently cleaned house, I sometimes feel that I have mooched energy from them.

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