The sun is shining, the Island is full of international athletes from many islands around the world for the annual Island Games, this year being hosted here on the Isle of Wight and enjoying our hospitality. There are teams from Bermuda, Isle of Man, Falklands Islands and many others too. Apparently there are 4,000 athletes plus their entourages staying on the Island for a week or so.
Events are happening all week around the Island including cycling, running, archery, swimming, badminton, football and any other sport you can think of. It is so wonderful to see all the people from different cultures here competing and having fun.
Hospitality is a wonderful thing, but I wonder if sometimes I can be too hospitable. I love to have some guests come and visit for a meal or even just a cuppa and a chat. I am happy to provide food and drink for them and I love to see some people again and again.
But, and there is a big BUT, I also like to have my home to myself. I am really pleased when some people leave and I can have my peace and quiet back again. There are some people who I don’t want to leave as I enjoy their company so much and can have sensible, or not so sensible, conversations with, who make me laugh and who I make laugh, who are true friends. I am comfortable in their company and they are comfortable in mine.
Is there a happy medium? Yes I think there is. I invite people to my home who I really want to spend time with and enjoy spending time with, talking to and listening to. I don’t invite people who drain my energy or who I don’t enjoy listening to. This is something that I have learned in YOU University, how to look after myself first and foremost. Some may say this is selfish, I say it is essential. If you have ever listened to the safety announcements on a plane you will know that part of it states ‘when the oxygen masks drop down, make sure you put yours on first’ or words to that effect.
I remember a story I ready about a young woman who was on board a plane with her two young daughters. There was an incident and the oxygen masks came down. The mother tried frantically to put oxygen masks on her daughters first and failed before she lost consciousness and died and so did they. All three died because the mother did not look after herself first and therefore could not look after her daughters.
It is essential for my well being to look after myself and for the people with whom I come in contact. If I don’t take care of myself how can I possible take care of anybody else?
I distance myself from people who drain my energy and who bring me down. I distance myself from people who are takers and not givers. I distance myself from people who have nothing to say to me that is interesting. My home is where I feel safe and secure. Long may it remain that way.
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