Monday, September 20, 2010

Know Your Place; Act Accordingly

There is a line in the Meryl Streep cult classic movie, The Devil Wears Prada, where Anne Hathaway’s character is scolded by her boyfriend when she consistently chooses her career over her relationship. As Hathaway’s character, Andrea, struggles to make a point, her telephone rings and when she chooses to answer the call, her boyfriend ends their argument by saying, “…by the way, if there’s any confusion who you’re in a relationship with, it’s the person getting their calls answered.” This is a pivotal moment in the film because it is when Andrea is forced to face who she’s become – one of the shallow creatures she alleged to loathe at the start of the film.

Sometimes we have trouble accepting our place in each other’s lives and who we’ve become to each other. While we may have been the best of college buddies, we may now have a place of priority just under your loved one’s family pet. Relationships, family, new friends and careers can change the hierarchy of those in our lives and similarly affect our position in theirs. Yesterday’s best friend is today’s long lost pal.

Rather than being disappointed by my new position in the lives of my family and friends, I simply accept that our lives change and the people in our lives rotate in and out of our lives or their hierarchy simply changes. True friends and committed family members will always find a place in our lives and if folks mean something to you, you’ll have enough sense to always make time for them.

Anytime you’re making repeated calls to family or friends without a return call, is a good time to assess your position in the individual’s life and to make the adjustments on your end to minimize your frustration and maximize the quality of your relationship with them. Finding only a couple of minutes to speak to a loved ones doesn’t minimize who they are to you, it may only mean that the relationship doesn’t require as serious a time commitment as your other relationships.

Spending precious time fretting about where you stand with the folks in your circle simply means that you have not taken the time to know your place and to act accordingly.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

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