As we move further into the holiday season, a time when relationships of all kinds tend to take center stage, our December theme is all about the bonds we hold most dear. It’s about relationships past and present, old and new, distant and close. It’s about the understanding that though relationships may be hard, they’re still worth nurturing. It’s about the knowledge that our relationships don’t have to fit into a specific box, and they certainly don’t have to stay the way they always were before.
I heard once that your ended relationships have the most important impact on who you become. In the past, when a relationship of mine would end, I’d swiftly cut it off and try to bury the feelings and experiences without actually processing what had happened. I now have a lot of appreciation for the lessons my past relationships have taught me. I’ve learned they’re not a sign of failure but rather a part of the natural evolution and progression of life.
I now have a lot of appreciation for the lessons my past relationships have taught me. I’ve learned they’re not a sign of failure but rather a part of the natural evolution and progression of life.
This year in particular has provided me with a different perspective on some of my closest relationships. I’ve fostered deeper friendships and I’ve let go of others. I’ve had family members become ill, I’ve gone through a shift in my marriage, and my relationship with work has changed quite a bit too.
In recent months, I’ve reframed my approach to the ups and downs of relationships, realizing that often what’s impacting them is something entirely outside of the people involved. Though this may be a somewhat simple concept, it’s helped me find some peace in relationships that haven’t always been what I’d hoped they’d be.
Getting to a place where we allow ourselves to be accepting of some of the waves in our relationships can provide a sense of freedom. It can remind us we have more agency than we think. It can give us the strength and integrity to move beyond a relationship that isn’t working, without the mental anguish that comes from living in a world of coulds, woulds, and shoulds.
This month, I’d encourage us all to spend a bit of time taking stock of where our relationships stand. That includes our relationship to our family, to our friends, to our job, to our home, to our community, and, of course, to ourselves. Which of your relationships feels strongest at the moment? Which means the most to you right now? Which receives the most of your time? Are your answers reflective of the balance you actually want in your life? If not, what do you want to do to change that?
Getting to a place where we allow ourselves to be accepting of some of the waves in our relationships can provide a sense of freedom.
This December, our contributors will be exploring the nuances and waves that come with interpersonal relationships of all kinds—relationships with a partner, a parent, a twin, and more. I’ll be sharing a look at our design plans for the basement plus a roundup of my favorite things from the entire year. Stay tuned for this and plenty more throughout the month ahead!
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BY Kate Arends - December 1, 2021
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.