Old Is The New “New”

by Sarah Leslie
I love thrift store shopping. It’s not just the thrill of the bargain but the stories woven inside each garment, or their potential to be remade into something unique and one of a kind that excites me. And the older, the better. Years ago in a Tulsa thrift shop I found a black leather jacket from the 1950’s that became one of my most prized possessions. I loved everything about it, its smell, its style, its comfort, its character, and its stories told through each scuff and blemish. I took care of it better than new. This seems to be my kneejerk response to things that have outlived their usefulness, or just aren’t exciting anymore in this disposable society. With proper care and attention, new joy can be found in old things.
The same holds true for relationships. The people in our lives are some of the greatest gifts we will ever receive. There’s a special degree of love and joy we can only experience within the bond of a cherished relationship, but all relationships are vulnerable to becoming stale and musty unless properly cared for. Here’s three things to keep old relationships fresh and exciting, or set new relationships off on the right track.
 1)  Be Oxygen
 How we treat those we care about can either be fresh air to fuel them, or thick stale air to smother them. Healthy relationships are empowering and freeing, encouraging individuality and independence. Being oxygen to those we love requires intentionally saying and doing things to nurture and encourage. It’s very easy within comfortable relationships to focus on the negative, or stop investing the best of ourselves. Control, jealousy and emotional dependence can creep in and smother. Patience, kindness, trust, and unconditional acceptance can be a breath of fresh air.
 2) Listen Up
 We all have a deep craving to be heard and understood, yet too often that need of our soul goes unmet. Counselors are paid big money to sit and listen to our hearts when no one else will. All types of relationships require a commitment to be a dedicated listener, not just to what their mouth is saying, but their heart as well, and validate their feelings without judgment or rejection. Attentive listening while someone shares their life, the good and the bad, shows them they matter, they have value, and they are worth your time.
3) Do Something
 Don’t make your life about you, make it about those around you and what you can do for them. Look for ways to honor and serve them, and make them smile. Bake cookies, prepare a meal, do house cleaning or yard work, mail a card or write a letter. Never take relationships for granted, or let others forget what they’re worth. They’re gifts you get to enjoy everyday, do things that are a gift in return.
Investing new effort in old relationships can fill your soul like nothing else. Be intentional, and you’ll find new joy.
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Sarah Leslie is a freelance writer and God-sized dreamer passionate about building people up through the power of words. You can find her blog, A Timely Word, at http://regenerationpublishing.blogspot.com/
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14 comments

  1. Heather says:

    DO SOMETHING is my mantra: at school, at home, to myself. LOVE it. I’m adopting your BE OXYGEN as well. That’s a wonderful thought!

  2. CHristine Jarmola says:

    Oxygen. What a great concept. Too often I’m around smoke. I’m going to purposefully be oxygen.

  3. Celeste says:

    Wow, how much better the world would be if we all cherished what we had, not whine about things we don’t! I love thrift stores too by the way. Thanks so much for your insight you have a great way putting it to words!!

  4. Linda says:

    Thank you for the uplifting insight and words. After reading this, I immediately did a quick inventory of myself and realized some big character defects. Truly want to be oxygen to others and be an uplifting friend.

  5. Tracy Scovelle says:

    Well done, Sarah! I thoroughly enjoyed this and I look forward to reading more of your future blogs.

  6. Cathy Collar says:

    Great post, Sarah. Making something new out of something old has been a long time hobby in my family. The possibilities are endless. We are a very wasteful nation and would do well to learn something from our ancestors.

  7. Robin Holland says:

    Well stated Sarah. Such good things for me to think about as I seek to be a good friend to those around me. So appreciate your insight. Blessings to you.

  8. Jen says:

    First, I have to say, I love thrift stores too! I found a barely used bread maker and a like-new blender at one recently.

    Sometimes it seems like I’m around a lot of stale-air types of people. They don’t seem to know how to react when they encounter oxygen. Many of my friends who have been through some difficult times know they can call me and I’ll listen without offering any advice. Sometimes you just need someone to *listen* without giving any useless platitudes or other suggestions.

    Great post and great points!

  9. Elwood says:

    HEy hey that’s pretty amazing article, well done, well i am in between of writing an ebook which will go for sale on amazon, i was wondering if i could use article with proper credits ofcourse, only if you allow

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