So I’m realizing hospitality goes hand in hand with partnership.  I think this has been a long coming realization to me, but the ah-ha moment only clicked in my brain recently.  (I love it when that happens.) 

The idea is this:  in order to create a hospitable environment one has to be open-minded and accepting of, well, almost anything.  Of course, there are parameters.  You don’t have to create a hospitable environment to, say, an axe murderer.  But well, likewise, you don’t always have to offer cookies and milk and be sitting at the kitchen table.  Hospitality involves a partnership.  It’s a partnership between the parties involved.  One wants to be hospitable, but someone has to accept your hospitality.  It’s a simple thought process really, but I think it’s hard to execute for some.

And harder still for others.  I’ve also recently discovered that I am a bit more particular then I’d like to admit.  (Let’s just say I recently changed living situations.  The new roomie is definitely teaching me a thing or two about being hospitable.) 

Being open-minded and truly accepting of what life has to offer makes living more fulfilling.  And it gets us closer, in my opinion, to discovering more about who we are and what we have to offer. 

So go ahead!  Share a conversation on the side of the road with a stranger.  (If she’s willing.)  Or say yes to a spontaneous picnic on a park bench with your dear friend.  I don’t care.  Just don’t go sit at the kitchen table with milk and cookies and expect me to show up.

I learned something the other day.  Hospitality is a lot bigger than I think it is.  In all honesty, I’m not sure how to define it in the first place.  I tried in an earlier post.

I know a thing or two about it:  how it makes me feel, and how I think it’s supposed to make others feel.  But a definition seems limiting, as does my perception.

What’s my point?  Hospitality comes in all different shapes and sizes.  And I like it that way.

Last week I met a man who talked passionately about many different things.  He has a lot of projects.  We met with a mutual friend for breakfast at 7 a.m. on a Friday morning.  Needless to say, I am not easily stimulated at 7 a.m. in the morning.

However, I left breakfast feeling invigorated and fresh.  Having listened to this man’s stories, I was overpowered with an urge to start several myself.  Or at least to become a part of one of his.  I think this feeling, the feeling of drawing someone in and allowing him to experience the story as if he is a part of it, is hospitality.  It’s seizing an opportunity to share life in a way that invites people to join you.

So, what’s the project?  CHEESE.  An invitation to get to know the Robie’s, their dairy farm, and their way of life.   To help them figure out how to make the only way life they know sustainable.

Where to start?  With you!  Buy their cheese.  (Available in Boston at South End Formaggio.)

So, if you haven’t heard the news, I’m engaged!
And I’m overwhelmed and excited. (Yes, already).
But I’m mostly happy, the kind of happy that warms your heart from the inside.

I started following a handful of new wedding blogs. (I can follow more now that I have a reason to do so.) This excerpt is from A Love Letter to Summer Brides post on Broke-Ass Brides.

It’s a great excerpt. It’s not just about a wedding. It’s about completing a long-term goal with your partner, about what you may learn along the way and what you may feel. I hope I experience these emotions as my wedding day approaches, but also as day 1 of the B & B approaches too.

Read on:

“…Whichever you choose, either the “Whew!” or the “Awww… or somewhere in between (or both) you have to admit that it’s been quite an experience, hasn’t it? You’ve learned a lot. You’ve not only figured out all this wedding stuff works, but you’ve also found out more about yourself, what you want, and even more importantly, since you’re going to be hanging out with this guy for the rest of your life, how the two of you work together as a team.

What else have you learned? You’ve certainly had many chances to practice and improve your “people” skills, not to mention managing your time. You’ve learned how to negotiate, how to compromise, and how to – and how not to – stick to a budget. At this point, you can rapidly calculate 5 – 18% of anything. At the beginning of this whole thing, you were wondering where to start and how to start, and GAH, frustration! But look at you now – you found your venue, you found your dress, you found your photographer and got through your engagement shoot, you found everything else you needed and wanted. And you learned that all it takes to get that is perseverance and patience, and raising your hand and asking questions that you don’t know the answers to. And you got from there to here more or less in one piece, just like I knew you would. You are a frickin’ Rock Star, and you can do anything. Remember that. …”

Maybe someone can remind me of these words when I start to feel like nothing’s going right?