When was the last time you participated in an activity even when you didn’t want to? I can talk myself out of doing just about anything, but when someone else encourages me, I may change my mind.
Matt told me a story about his friend, George, who had recently become a widower and was depressed. George repeatedly declined invitations to join others in activities so his friends created a cheap fantasy club.
The rules were that each of the six friends could choose what interest or hobby they wanted to participate in that week. It couldn’t cost more than $10 for each of them. And even if one of the friends didn’t like it, each person had to oblige the person’s “fantasy.” And then the following week it would be someone else’s choice. Over the next several months they bowled, pitched horseshoes, went to the movies and visited an art museum. What the friends discovered was that even activities they said they didn’t think they liked, they enjoyed. I experienced something similar this morning when it was time to exercise.
I regularly exercise—walking, bike riding or boating in our propeller driven Sea-Cycle. In Oregon, where I live, the summer weather is very pleasant with highs in the 70’s or low 80’s with low humidity. Currently, I am in South Carolina where the temperature is 91 degrees with 83% humidity. The air is so thick that it takes a huge breath to get it into my lungs. I walked with one of Mom’s friends yesterday and when she called me today, I declined because I thought it was too hot. Then, when I realized that she wasn’t going to take a morning walk unless I joined her, I decided to go but had a bailout clause if it was too hot.
We walked, talked and I didn’t even notice the heat and the humidity. When I returned to the air conditioning and a bottle of cold water, it was all that much more refreshing.
Today’s gift was offering companionship to one of my mother’s friends. And I enjoyed it, too.