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Years ago I tried something like this and it just didn’t work. I didn’t have real friends and I didn’t know how to treat them well. But today I am letting go of past fears. I am at the beach house my parents left me for the first annual ladies beach weekend, encouraging us all to enjoy ourselves and relax and share. Hard to believe there is a rule in my head that suggests I cannot do these things, but that’s the truth.

Enjoying myself, using the house for fun, these are not part of the history of my life. This time we are cooking for one another, talking about our families, learning about how brave we each have been in our lives, and so many other things.

I am proud of myself for getting this right. Once, years ago when I had friends stay with me, I got it all wrong. I was so afraid of my parents, who owned the house at the time, that I worried everything I did would upset them. They had many rules and I put them on my friends who visited. I insisted to my friend, who had three kids and a husband along, that she clean the shower stall top to bottom since they had used it once! I could see that she thought this a little extreme. But that’s how it was…since we rented the house it always had to be in ‘show’ condition.

It goes with out saying that this took away from the fun of the trip, worrying about the state of the house.
I passed on the issues I had with my parents to my friends. My relationship with my parents included me being afraid of them. Having to do everything to please them with no regard for how absurd it might be, or how degrading it might be. I was too afraid to stand up to them. Now I am valuing the fun of being together and putting that on a higher priority than whether the house is clean. It feels so much better to invest in the friendships than it does to invest in the property. Both have to be done, but I like the way friends talk back and show appreciation for our time together.

Thank goodness I have finally gotten this right. Using this house for fun and for friendship, for laughing and growing. Holding it as a museum to my past, to my parents who bought it, and to ideas that I have outgrown is over now.

Tonight we will have fun together and before we go, unlike last time, we will make plans to do this again.

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