I think one act that a lot of people struggle with is sharing. What I am specifically referring to is sharing with strangers. We teach our kids to share with others they don’t know, but how many of us really share with those we don’t know when we become adults? There are also a lot of people who have trouble sharing with those who they know as well.
I do believe that if we shared a few more things as adults, we would have less stress. To give you an idea of what I mean, I will provide some examples here:
1. What if we shared some parties?
If we shared some parties, it might just lift some of the burden off of everyone.
To give you an example, my cousin has a daughter whose birthday is literally 1 day before our son’s. To ease the time, cost, and organization time on everyone, we are going to share the party this year. She will invite everyone she wants to invite and we will invite everyone we want to invite. That way those who would come to both parties, if there were two parties, will only need to take the time and expense to come to one party instead of two. And, this year, we are also going to throw in my very belated milestone birthday party too so it will actually be 3 parties in one! This also allows my cousin and myself to share the costs of the party as well so that there will be the cost for only one party versus the more expensive option of 3 separate parties.
Another application I see for this concept is for those who have holiday parties of all types. If someone you know is having a holiday party, why not share the party? Everyone will be able to gain precious time that is so hard to come by during the holidays and you can share the costs. An added bonus is that you’ll share the set-up and clean-up work as well so that way each person does less since it becomes a shared activity. Still another advantage to this is you will eliminate the worry of scheduling your party on the same day as someone else’s. This will also make it easier on some of your guests since those who know you both (or all of you) won’t have to either split their time at each party or choose which one to go to.
If you are concerned about space with all the people involved, then try sharing the costs of renting something. If that rental includes food, then you could come out financially better (with careful planning) and you won’t have nearly as much before-and-after cleaning to do. That is, in fact, what my cousin and I are doing since we don’t have a home large enough to include people for just one party let alone a combined party. I can also tell you that since food is included with the price of our rental, it will actually come out cheaper than if we had to buy food and prepare it on our own. Keep in mind that the cost of preparing the food involves the following: the transportation cost to purchase it, the cost of buying the food, the time involved to make the food, and the water plus electricity or natural gas it takes to make that food in addition to the necessary resources to clean everything up afterwards.
Remember that this is a great way for everyone to meet new people too!
2. If you are in a crowded place like a restaurant or food court, why not offer to share your dining time and space?
For example, if a restaurant has a long waiting time for a smaller table, but perhaps has a table available right away for only larger parties, you could share with another party that you don’t know. You would have the opportunity to get to know some people for a short while and everyone in both parties will get to enjoy their meals sooner. In addition to that, you’ll help make it possible for others to get to their tables sooner since you’ll be instantly taking at least two parties off of the waiting list!
Another place to share your meal with others is at a food court. This is particularly helpful for everyone when there is a very crowded food court. For this, I will share with you what happened to Bob (and what inspired me to write this):
I would like to say a few words about how a total stranger helped me out in the middle of a busy day. I finally had the opportunity to eat lunch. I rushed into a local downtown shopping mall with a food court and purchased something to eat. But the food court was so crowded that there was not one single empty table.
I thought I was going to have to hold my food tray up with one hand and hopefully eat with the other hand without spilling anything. Then someone I haven’t seen before or since invited me to her table. I give her a great big thank you then and now. She explained to me she invites anyone in need to join her.
That made my day and I felt better all day.
Think if we all practiced sharing a food court table more. Even if the food court isn’t crowded, you might just help make both your and someone else’s day a little less lonely!
For us on-line chat and social networkers, we can think of these examples as real-life chat and “status update” opportunities! I mean, do we really know everyone on our various “friends” lists? My point is that we chat and social networkers are already sharing all kinds of information with people we don’t know so why not do the same thing in real life? Keep in mind that everyone is a stranger until you get to know them!
3. You could share chores with your neighbors.
This is especially helpful if you and your neighbor are good at different tasks or have different necessary equipment.
4. For those of you in major metropolitan areas, you might be able to share a taxi cab ride.
If it’s a busy night and you learn that people near you are going the same direction, why not save the time and expense? This would be especially helpful when there is bad weather!
What other sharing ideas do you have and how do they help you reduce stress?