There’s a saying, that I know from somewhere, but I don’t remember where, that goes something along the lines of “Half of life is just showing up”. Last night was a pretty good example of why this is true, and why it’s important.
The woman who acts as the library liaison with our Friends of the Library board is retiring later this month, and the Friends were throwing her a retirement party. After the Board meeting Weds. night, I went over to the place we were having the party and helped out with setting up tables and chairs, moving things around, etc. Basically, it was about an hour of physical labor that 5 of us managed to get done, nothing major.
Well, last night when Angela and I went to the party, the two women who had done the work to organize the whole party made extra sure to thank me for helping and telling Angela what a nice guy I was to help, etc. Afterwards, on the way home Angela made a comment about how those women must really like me and my response was “Half of life is just showing up. I didn’t do THAT much or go very much out of my way to help, but I showed up and helped, which is more than a lot of people do.”
Sometimes being a good friend is just all about showing up. When you listen to someone talk about their problems you might be tempted to feel like you weren’t a very good friend unless you can directly help them solve the problem. It’s not going to be often that you will feel like you were able to do very much at all to help them, but just by showing up, taking the time to listen, you’ve done more than many other people would. If you want to learn how to be a good friend, spouse, parent, etc., remember a big part of it is just showing up.