Where is the Joy??

In the middle of November every year, the madness of Christmas shopping and cocktail parties explodes and the panic sets in…

There are those who look forward to the swirl of activity, as well as those who look at it all with trepidation and the Fear of Missing Out……How many invitations?? Having just the ‘right’ outfits, fitting in, taking the requisite number of selfies in posh stores, restaurants, parties, to feel included, and to show the world just how fabulous they are..

But in the midst of all this swarm of activity, the big question looms large…..where is the JOY?? Laughter?? Inclusiveness???

When is the last time you went to a party and actually laughed until you cried??

Those who are regular readers of this BLOG know that I love to be on the periphery, standing in a corner quietly surveying the room. Watching those who preen and posture, those who wait to enter so that they can make a entrance, ensuring their fake fabulousness can be observed and witnessed by all. Their pretention and arrogance not understood by the social climbers, who race over to shake their special hands, air kiss their spectacular cheeks, and breathe in the air they breathe, hoping it will be photographed and saved for posterity. Bragging rights ensured the the next event, selfies for their next post.
The extraordinary games of one upmanship, bragging of their most recent trip or party.

Watch those milling around the room, using their phones as an excuse to disengage and move on to more suitable prey.

First impressions screaming out, ‘LOOK AT ME’ when, in reality, often the person who underdresses and sits quietly is really the one to watch. Did you EVER
See Steve Jobs in a suit strutting around? Bill Gates in a suit that actually fits? Likewise Warren Buffet, driving his old clunker and still living in his old home. If you did not know who they were, you would never think they were remotely successful. …. And you would be WRONG.

It is fascinating for me to watch individuals interacting at an event where you know virtually everyone in the room, watch them sizing up and appraising, deciding whether or not someone is of ‘VALUE’ to them, see the change in their eyes, posture, as they move in for the ‘kill’ …
But, do you REALLY know who they are when they are outside of your immediate social circle?? How they really live their lives? Their values?? Honesty??

Other than the false narrative exhibited by many, how many people actually stand back and LOOK??? Appearances can be extremely deceiving, and most importantly the self aggrandizing chatter.

I used to be friends with someone who brags endlessly about her huge international business, latest world travels, latest $4000 handbag, latest fabulous restaurant, exquisite flat, private jets, latest car…..it is ALL a lie. The tiny flat is rented, the car is leased, the business in a tiny rental, the credit cards through the roof, always one sale away from bankruptcy. Walk into a posh shop with her, and the fabulousness rhetoric begins……go to a restaurant, party, and her fabulousness is sounded from every corner, people crowd to be part of her, to wash in her glory, to salivate at her stories, but, nothing is real.

The low class east end social climber who literally threw herself at wealthy men, married or not, and ultimately married reasonably well. Who has to have her name in the papers, be photographed at the most recent social event, but ask anyone who knew her when she was single, and they actually shudder at hearing her name. One actually blanched with discomfort. Someone who was brought up to never speak ill of anyone. Yet he admitted he was incapable of saying anything whatsoever kind about her, she was such a total embarassment to be around. Yes, he IS the one with the money and family pedigree. His reaction was physical.

The holiday season is supposed to be about re-connecting with the people in your life, making new friends and celebrating, but for some it is only about networking to sell their latest product to some unsuspecting target. To fill their photo libraries with new selfies in posh locations, to show the world how important they are, how successful.

But NEVER, how nice.

Did I vere off topic??

Actually, no, not at all.

Over the last few years I have been purging a lifetime of belongings, having 2 large offices in 2 different cities, and a large home, all full, all mine.Yes, TRIPLE everything.
There are hundreds of photos, business cards, invitations, diaries, and they have ALL been part of the purge. It is utterly exhausting.

Unfortunately some mementos of friends who left this earth way too soon, but their memory brings a smile and sadness. Others are gone from this world or from my life. Shredding hundreds of business cards, photos and invitations was cathartic…..

This process forced me to look further, and question certain relationships which led me to distancing myself from unpleasant people. Mostly those who are
USERS. I realized some were after my address book, be it business or social…….and when I refused to share, I was no longer of interest.

People who are not kind, not generous, not inviting, never sharing. No gentility.

This exercise crossed socio-economic boundaries, social groups, business groups, everything.

I realized that many of them brought me no joy, no smile, no laughter, no fond memories, just, well…….nothing.
So why did I allow them to take my time and energy??

If you walk away from an encounter with someone who is supposed to be your friend and increasingly feel angry, it is time to STOP.

Life is about surrounding yourself with laughter, joy, being with people who actually make YOU feel good about yourself, it is not always about them. People who celebrate life.

When is the last time you truly were with people simply having a great time, laughing and sharing joy???

Have an amazing New Year!!!

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