We recently caught up with some friends who are about to have a baby. Before we could even ask, Lynn said, "We're not telling anyone the sex of the baby until it's born." "Good for you!" we both blurted out.
They were surprised we were so supportive of their secret because, apparently, other friends aren't so hot on the idea.
Lynn went on to say that in this instant-gratification / live-through-other-people world, people get really information crazy – especially when you're going to have a kid. She had texts and tweets asking about the sex of the baby before they even got home from the "you're having a xxx" doctor's visit.
When you want to do something different from the pack or – good god – keep something to yourself, people freak.
Get comfortable with it.
This is the part of the post where I should do the old here, here, here and here convention, directing you – via links – to every NVR post in which this general "live your own life" theme is on parade. I won't do that, but I will remind you – as we reminded our friends the other day – we got a huge dose of this several years ago when we shared our plans for a new lifestyle. As we've gotten into before, you would have thought we told people that we robbed a bank.
Some people were not digging it.
At first it hurt.
Then we realized that we can use such exercises to determine who our real friends are.
Now we try not to care.
It's each of our lives and our life as a couple. No one else's. And it's your life. No one else's.
Unless you're breaking the law, people need to get excited. It's their job as family and friends.
Anyhow, we went on to have a fantastic dinner with Lynn and Greg. After the baby news, the conversation focused on the all-too-common instinct for people to share every sliver of detail about everything happening in life.
Living life so externally that you forget about the internal.
Spending so much time talking about and sharing everything that you realize you aren't doing as much as you could.
We encouraged Lynn and Greg to keep mixing things up because, really, that's what not telling the sex of their baby really is. It's trying something new. It's changing the routine. It's taking a beat and making a deliberate decision.
And that's what people are responding to. They're jealous, or it exposes their own insecurity, or who knows what.
We reminded Lynn and Greg that some – ah, make that most – of our best decision in life have come from times when we've changed up the pace a bit. We do it a lot. If you know us, you know that we like to keep a nice cycle of expansion and contraction going. They asked about our near-crazy end of the year planning process where we really move into a different groove in order to dream-scape the year ahead.
And it works. Every time.
We get more clarity and make bigger strides every year. We've got a strong business that allows us to work from wherever we are in the world. It's exactly the life we want right now. But it takes work and focus and diligence. And, at times, we have to tell people things they don't want to hear (or not tell them).
Our friends' plan regarding their baby inspired us to try yet another big experiment. We are in the middle of a self-imposed life shake-up – doing everything differently. We're excited to serve up the details when it's over.