We’re roughly 15 minutes into 2016 and it already feels like it’s flying by. The days feel short, and not just because it gets dark at 2:45 PM. There’s no doubt about it, time is passing. it’s fleeting, and it’s precious.
In one way or another, we’re all guilty of not utilizing our time well. Some people procrastinate. Some people spend more time on fun things than on work things. I’m awesome at both of those things, and I’ve also been known to give too much time and energy to too many people. I like the majority of people I meet when I first meet them. I’ll talk to them. I’ll add them on Facebook. I’ll say we should meet up for coffee or cocktails and I’ll really mean it.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the problem is that time is something I lack right now. I’m working a lot, and I’m trying to fill the minuscule hours when I’m not working with things like sleep, exercise, my spouse and my adorable daughter who has sprouted from tiny infant to freakishly strong toddler overnight. Things like creative writing and reading books are rare guilty pleasures. This already leaves me less time than I’d like to spend with my closest friends, never mind casual acquaintances I’d like to get to know better. But several recent wake up calls have made me realize I need to simplify and prioritize.
The most recent of the recent wake up calls happened just after Christmas. I’d recently scanned my Instagram followers to see who was following me….I hadn’t done it in a very long time, and I was curious. I discovered someone I used to be casual acquaintances with in Eastern Washington was on the list. This woman had deactivated all other social media accounts, but there she was, on my followers list. I requested to follow her back. She accepted. We “liked” a few of each other’s photos in the months that followed, but Instagram is typically not a place where you directly interact.
But then one day I did interact. I noticed she’d posted a picture of her two sons, who were basically babies when I moved to Seattle. Needless to say they’re ginormous now because babies grow up in 5 minutes. I have witnessed it happening. I left a comment about it, adding that it was nice to see them. No big deal.
Except apparently it was a big deal, because a few days later I noticed this woman had blocked me on Instagram. At first I was confused, because she’d been following me the entire time I had an account and I’d only recently followed her back. But I soon realized that either she hadn’t realized who I actually was or she was the kind of person who just wanted a peek into my life without allowing me a glimpse into hers.
To my surprise, I was flooded with relief. I realized that I honestly did not even like this person. I didn’t dislike her either...she’d always been nice enough to me, and we’d gotten along the few times we’d interacted. But we have nothing in common. We have no mutual friends, no mutual interests, no shared beliefs or values. And, to be brutally honest—and I’m not saying this to be hurtful—I find her a bit dull and weak, a far cry from the fierce, strong, badass women I tend to surround myself with. She’s not a bad person, she’s simply not my kind of person. Apparently I’m not her kind of person either. And that’s OK.
I’ve long ago accepted that not everyone on this Earth is going to like me. I’m very much OK with that. But what I hadn’t really convinced myself of is that I don’t have to like everybody, either. I’ve kept so many people in my life that I don’t really like or dislike because I don’t want them to feel hurt or rejected. I don’t want to seem mean.
But I’m tired of wasting precious hours, minutes and even seconds on people who just aren’t my type. I don’t expect people who feel that way about me to acknowledge my existence, so why in the hell have I been acknowledging theirs with my precious few moments? What good am I doing for any of us in this situation?!?
I promptly went to Facebook attempting to do a friends list clean up. I didn’t get too far. I removed the most obvious people, like the utter dumbass from my hometown I was never friends with in the first place who keeps posting shit about how Obama is a Muslim who single-handedly destroyed the country in only 8 years and that all Muslims should be killed. No matter where you stand politically, you’d have to be a complete fucktard to believe that. But I couldn’t bring myself to remove a few people that I never talk to but still kind of care how they are in general. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
2016 is going to be about quality over quantity for me, in every way. I want to spend more time with my good friends and less time with people who drain me of energy. I’d rather savor a glass or two of good wine than chug a bottle of the cheap stuff and eat a few high quality chocolate truffles instead of a huge slice of cheap chocolate cake*. I want to invest in a few designer pieces for my wardrobe rather than a closet full of crap that will fall apart in 3 months. You get the picture.
Quality over quantity. It’s simple, really. And that’s what I’m focusing on these days.
*I would still consume all of those things in one night.