Last night I was out for dinner with some friends, and the subject of home parties was raised. Someone said, "Oh, we know how Julianne feels about home parties" and I went home and thought about it for a bit. It's ironic that I'm developing a reputation for avoiding home parties because I'm a Stampin' Up demonstrator, and was very busy doing home workshops for people when I lived in BC.
Small town home parties are an entirely different animal. You want to support everyone's home business, but it's simply not possible for me to attend every party I'm invited to, or I'd be going four nights out of every week, possibly more depending on the time of year. I really enjoy my time at home. I'm trying to carve out time to write, which is never easy, and when 7 pm comes and my kids are tucked into their beds, I want to unwind and relax at home.
I realize it sounds like I'm making excuses, and that's because I am. In general, I freeze up and immediately resist pressure I feel being exerted on me, and no matter how many times people invite you to a home party and say that you don't have to buy anything, really you are supposed to buy something. The pressure is always there. I'm trying to simplify life, to move away from owning more and more products that I have to maintain and dust, so home parties really aren't the scene for me.
It's difficult to explain, because it hurts people's feelings no matter which way you say it, and I don't like to be intentionally hurtful. But all of life is a choice. We choose how we spend every resource we have, whether it's money, health, time, or energy. The older I get the more comfortable I feel to make the decisions that I need to make. I try not to worry about the fall-out, but I recognize that the potential for emotional collateral damage is always there.
All of life involves this delicate balancing act. I don't want to become self-absorbed and full of myself, closeted away to be sure my needs are met without any concern for supporting my friends, but I have also found that saying "no" more often relieves stress and offers more freedom to pursue the goals I am reaching for. I suppose we have to take it on a day by day, invitation by invitation basis. We don't want to overload our schedules and then have nothing to give to our family and friends, but we also need to socialize and give what we can to keep our friendships alive. Perhaps we simply do what we can, and embrace the fact that we can't do everything we are invited to do.