Weekend Projects

This Weekend, Skip the Chores and Let’s All Water What Matters Most

published Oct 11, 2019
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Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

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In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s so easy to forget what it’s all for. Like right now as I write this, I’m thinking about how I need to catch up on my laundry, do my daily chores, and meet my deadlines. And even though I know it’ll feel good to finish up, my ultimate endgame isn’t finishing laundry, having a clean house, or accomplishing my work. Of course, yours isn’t either.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development, an 80-year-long project and the largest of its kind, tells us what we know deep down: It’s relationships that make us happy. As The Harvard Gazette puts it:

“Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed. Those ties protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes. That finding proved true across the board among both the Harvard men and the inner-city participants.”

Since the relationships in our lives are “the root of the root and the bud of the bud, and the sky of the sky of a tree called life,” they can always use more nurturing. This weekend, we’re going to tend the garden of our life’s happiness and water what matters most.

This Weekend: Make some plans to nurture your relationships.

Nurturing relationships means not only spending quality time with those we love, but also with those we want to get to know. This weekend, we’re going to make plans to spend the time with the people we want to draw closer into our inner circle.

Here are some things to think about as you make your plans :

Reach out

The dance parent you’ve known for five years from the lobby and know you’d hit it off with? Text them and set up a coffee date. Don’t wait. They’ll feel just as happy as you would if they texted you.

Invite a group over to your house

No need to host a five-course dinner party. What about something fun and easy like taco salad night or even an ice cream sundae bar? The nice thing about inviting more than one set of people you want to get to know better is that the pressure of talking and mingling isn’t all on you—but you still get to take some relationships to that next level by having new friends into your home.

Cast the net wider than people you already know

Consider putting yourself out there amongst some new fish in the sea. A group that centers around one of your interests puts you in touch with new people you’ll have something in common with right off the bat. Options include a book club, a sports team, or that macrame plant hanger class at the local nursery.

Let go of relationships that don’t serve you

This means that if you’re involved in a friendship that feels more like a drain than a fountain, consider letting it go. The most beautiful thing about this, besides releasing toxicity, is that it opens up the possibility of your time and energy to flow in directions that can grow into beautiful and mutual relationships.

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.